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So Close: Wakefield Receives No-Decision As Red Sox Edge Twins Late, 8-6

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Monday night marked Tim Wakefield's third try at win number 200 on his career. Despite pitching seven innings and holding the Twins to three earned runs, Alfredo Aceves could not preserve the lead which meant a no-decision for Wakefield. Meanwhile, the Red Sox did pick up the 8-6 win over Minnesota thanks to some late inning heroics.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to an RBI single by Marco Scutaro, Wakefield fell into some trouble when he gave up three runs via RBIs by Jason Kubel and Jim Thome and a passed ball by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Wakefield got touched up in the fourth and fifth innings by a moon shot home run by Kubel and an RBI double by Joe Mauer. Minnesota leading, 5-1.

The Red Sox had Wakefield's back nearly the entire night, and they showed it in the sixth inning. After a Carl Crawford triple to begin the inning off Twins starter Scott Baker, Adrian Gonzalez picked up RBI number 92 as he got Crawford home on an sac-fly. After Dustin Pedroia reached, David Ortiz connected an a moon shot of his own as he put the Red Sox within one after a two-run home run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia decided he wanted in on the action and launched a solo home run to tie the game at five a piece.

After solid sixth and seventh innings from Wakefield, the Red Sox were finally able to take a 6-5 lead off an error on Joe Mauer that scored David Ortiz from third base. 

With the lead, Terry Francona decided to pull Wakefield (who was in line for the win) and put in Alfredo Aceves for the eighth. After recording to outs with a man on, Aceves lost the lead after giving up a two-out RBI single by Jason Kubel that brought home Trevor Plouffe from second base. Wakefield comes out of it with a no-decision and the game is now tied, 6-6.

To begin the top of the ninth, the Twins brought in lefty Glen Perkins to face the Red Sox' 1-2-3 lefty combination at the top of the batting order. Perkins only retired Carl Crawford, but allowed a hit to Adrian Gonzalez that created a two-out, one on situation. Perkins was replaced by closer Joe Nathan, who looked to protect the tie for the Twins.

Dustin Pedroia pieced together a terrific two-out at bat and singled Adrian Gonzalez on to second. David Ortiz stepped in and broke the tie with an RBI single that brought home a pinch-running Darnell McDonald for the 7-6 lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia added to the cause with a RBI double that scored Pedroia for an extra insurance run. The Red Sox had the 8-6 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Jonathan Papelbon came and did what Jonathan Papelbon has been doing all season, as he retired the side to preserve the 8-6 win for Boston. Erik Bedard will look to pick up his first win as a Red Sox tomorrow as he faces off against Francisco Liriano at Target Field tomorrow night.  First pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m EST.