BOSTON -- The best team in baseball came to Boston and threw its two best pitchers at the Red Sox.
So far, all the Chicago White Sox have to show for this potential playoff preview is a pair of losses.
"This is a team where you cannot mess around," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "With that lineup, you have to be almost perfect to beat them."
David Ortiz went 3-for-4, stringing together seven consecutive hits over two days, and Tim Wakefield cruised into the seventh inning on Saturday night to beat Chicago 7-4 and lead the Red Sox to their sixth straight victory.
Tony Graffanino also had three hits for Boston, which has won 13 consecutive home games and 14 of its last 16 overall. The White Sox have the best record in baseball but need a win on Sunday to avoid their second sweep of the season.
That will be the last time the current AL East and Central leaders play this season -- unless they meet in the postseason.
Asked if the season series, which the Red Sox lead 4-2, is a way to measure how they compare heading into the playoffs, first baseman Kevin Millar said, "We know we're big dogs. We don't need to measure."
Wakefield (12-9) earned his fourth consecutive win after taking a shutout into a 40-minute rain delay in the bottom of the sixth. When he came out for the top of the seventh, he gave up consecutive homers to Paul Konerko and Aaron Rowand.
The knuckleballer allowed two runs and seven hits, striking out five in 6 2/3 innings.
"He was so good, and then he went back out," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He had such a good night, I just thought it was time to get him out of there."
"I didn't have a good breaking ball," Garland said. "I haven't had one for a while now."
Ortiz went 4-for-5 with six RBI on Friday night, getting a double, a single and two homers in his last four at-bats. On Saturday, he singled in his first two at-bats and then doubled for his seventh hit in a row; there was also an intentional walk in the middle, when Guillen decided he'd rather face Manny Ramirez in the fourth.
"David was hitting everything," Francona said. "I can understand it. I'm sure they weren't real thrilled about it."
Luis Vizcaino struck out Ortiz in the eighth to end the streak.
Roberto Petagine homered to lead off the second inning - his first major league home run since 1998. He played the intervening six seasons in Japan. Edgar Renteria, Ortiz and Ramirez hit consecutive singles and all scored in the third to make it 4-0.
Graffanino doubled and scored on Renteria's single to make it 5-0 in the sixth before Konerko hit his 30th homer of the season and the 200th of his career in the seventh. Rowand followed to make it 5-2.
"It's cool, but there's a lot of guys walking around with 200 homers," Konerko said. "It's not that cool."
Bill Mueller and Graffanino doubled and scored in the seventh to make it 7-2. Chicago threatened in the eighth, scoring an unearned run off Mike Remlinger before Curt Schilling came on and struck out Rowand to end the inning.
Jermaine Dye homered in the ninth to make it 7-4.
The game was delayed for 40 minutes in the sixth inning during a heavy storm with lightning that forced the evacuation of the Green Monster seats and right field roof boxes. When it resumed, Ortiz lofted a high fly toward the Fisk Pole that Pablo Ozuna watched as it landed in fair territory for a double.
- Garland was trying to become the first White Sox pitcher since Jack McDowell in 1993 to win 17 of his first 23 starts.
- For the second time in two appearances with the Red Sox, Remlinger failed to get an out.
- White Sox OF Scott Podsednik sat out with a left leg injury. He is also expected to miss Sunday's game before the team decides whether to put him on the disabled list.
- On Aug. 13, 1988, the Red Sox won their record 24th consecutive home game.
- Boston CF Johnny Damon was scratched from the lineup with a sore left hamstring. He left Friday night's game in the ninth inning.