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Arizona at Boston

W: T. Wakefield (5-5) L: R. Johnson (4-6)
S: J. Papelbon (23)
HR: ARI - None   BOS - K. Cash (1)

Wakefield wins old-timer duel vs. Big Unit, Red Sox blank D-Backs

CBSSports.com wire reports

BOSTON -- Tim Wakefield has been twirling his knuckler past hitters for 16 years. Randy Johnson has been firing his fastball by them for 21.

The slow stuff won out Wednesday night when the Boston Red Sox beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in a matchup of starting pitchers with the oldest combined age of any game in Fenway Park history.

"I'm not facing him as a hitter, so it's kind of cool," the 41-year-old Wakefield said. "I'm actually facing their hitters and they have a pretty good lineup over there."

So do the Red Sox, who got three doubles from Coco Crisp. The youngest player in their lineup, 24-year-old Brandon Moss, drove in both runs the 44-year-old Johnson allowed.

"I've faced Wakefield enough times when I was with the Yankees," Johnson said. "I've been on the other side of these. I guess what goes around comes around."

Wakefield relied on his knuckler, which travels about 65-70 mph. He mixed in some curveballs, one as slow as 55 mph - Johnson throws some pitches almost 40 mph faster than that.

"Two guys with some great statistics going at it, totally different game, with good numbers," Crisp said. "It's a classic."

Not since Sept. 26, 1965, when Satchel Paige made a one-game comeback after a 12-year absence from the majors, had two pitchers of the combined age of Wakefield and Johnson started against each other in a Red Sox game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Elias said it also was a match of starters at Fenway with the oldest combined age -- 86 years, 252 days.

Paige, at 59 years, 81 days, allowed just one hit in three shutout innings. Bill Monbouquette, at 29 years, 45 days, pitched a complete game for a 5-2 win over the host Kansas City Athletics. They were a combined 88 years, 126 days old.

Johnson was out of the game by the time Kevin Cash hit a three-run homer in the eighth off Juan Cruz. It was Cash's first homer since June 21, 2005, with Tampa Bay -- against Johnson when he was with the New York Yankees.

Wednesday's starters got some of their best results in more than a month.

Wakefield (5-5) was 1-4 in his previous eight starts. Johnson (4-6) had his best outing in five starts, but has lost all of them.

Wakefield baffled the Diamondbacks with his knuckleball and allowed two of Arizona's three hits in seven innings.

"It was tough," Chris Young said. "It's a tough pitch to hit. Guys struggle with it because you don't really know how to approach it."

Wakefield struck out six, walked one and has allowed three runs or fewer in at least seven innings in six straight starts.

"I like the pitcher's duel, but I'd rather have a lot of runs on the board," he said, "especially when you face a guy like Randy that can throw up a lot of zeros."

Manny Delcarmen struck out two in a perfect eighth and Jonathan Papelbon struck out Chad Tracy for his 23rd save in 27 chances after Craig Hansen loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth.

Johnson went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

"Nothing really to be happy about," he said. "A loss is a loss. Basically, all the games I've pitched the last month have been kind of a blur."

Moss, playing right field while lefty J.D. Drew rested against lefty Johnson, drove in two runs without getting a hit.

The Red Sox put runners at second and third with no outs in the second on a single by Mike Lowell and a double by Crisp. With one out, Moss had an RBI grounder.

Johnson struck out the leadoff batter in the sixth, then loaded the bases on a single by Lowell, a double by Crisp and the first intentional walk of Cash's career. Moss came through again with a long sacrifice fly.

Cash's eighth career homer followed a walk to Lowell and another double by Crisp.

"It's a lot better to play 5-0 than 2-0," Boston manager Terry Francona said, "especially the way the ninth inning unfolded."


  • Johnson and Wakefield have combined for 6,551 strikeouts in 6,660 1/3 innings.
  • It was the first major league matchup of over-40 starters since 40-year-old Curt Schilling faced 45-year-old Roger Clemens last Sept. 16 at Fenway Park. The Yankees won 4-3.
  • Johnson was 7-1 in his previous 10 starts against Boston.
  • Arizona radio/television analyst Tom Candiotti, a former major league knuckleballer, threw early batting practice to the Diamondbacks. "I thought he did pretty well," manager Bob Melvin said.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Tim Wakefield riddles the Diamondbacks with seven innings of two-hit ball.  (AP)
Tim Wakefield riddles the Diamondbacks with seven innings of two-hit ball. (AP)

Players of the Game

K. Cash
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

T. Wakefield
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 6

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Eric Byrnes, LF4000012 .209
Stephen Drew, SS4000011 .255
Orlando Hudson, 2B4020010 .297
Conor Jackson, 1B3000121 .304
Chad Tracy, DH4000024 .243
Mark Reynolds, 3B3000010 .250
Chris Young, CF2000100 .232
Miguel Montero, C3010011 .247
Justin Upton, RF2000111 .240
2B - Orlando Hudson (19, Wakefield)
CS - Chris Young (2, 2nd base by Wakefield/Cash)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Reynolds-Hudson-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Randy Johnson (L,4-6) 6822250 4.94
Juan Cruz 1333121 3.45
Doug Slaten 1100010 4.07
IBB - Cash by Randy Johnson
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 109-69, Juan Cruz 36-22, Doug Slaten 12-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 5-7, Doug Slaten 2-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 27, Juan Cruz 7, Doug Slaten 4
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF5010013 .275
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5030001 .289
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4010013 .303
Manny Ramirez, DH4000033 .291
Mike Lowell, 3B3320101 .287
Coco Crisp, CF4130000 .271
Kevin Cash, C3113112 .241
Brandon Moss, RF3002010 .226
Julio Lugo, SS3010112 .274
2B - Kevin Youkilis (20, Cruz), Coco Crisp 3 (13, R. Johnson, R. Johnson, Cruz), Julio Lugo (13, R. Johnson)
HR - Kevin Cash (1, Cruz)
SF - Brandon Moss (1)
RBI - Kevin Cash 3 (9), Brandon Moss 2 (7)
SB - Julio Lugo (10, 3rd base off R. Johnson/Montero)
Team LOB - 9
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (W,5-5) 7200160 3.88
Manny Delcarmen (H,11) 1000020 3.38
Craig Hansen 0.2100210 4.91
Jonathan Papelbon (S,23) 0.1000010 2.08
WP - Tim Wakefield (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 94-61, Manny Delcarmen 13-10, Craig Hansen 20-11, Jonathan Papelbon 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 5-9
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 23, Manny Delcarmen 3, Craig Hansen 5, Jonathan Papelbon 1
Game Information
Attendance - 37924
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Mike Everitt