Red Sox score 6 in first to roll past Brewers 12-3

Posted June 19, 2011, at 9:03 p.m.
Last modified June 19, 2011, at 10:18 p.m.

BOSTON — Tim Wakefield had his picture taken with the Stanley Cup, then was able to sit back for a while and watch his teammates grab a big early lead.

Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer to highlight Boston’s six-run first inning and Wakefield held Milwaukee to three hits over eight innings, carrying the Red Sox to a 12-3 win over the Brewers on Sunday.

“I’ve always said, ‘If the offense scores that many runs it makes my job a lot easier knowing I can make one or two mistakes,'” the 44-year old Wakefield said after enjoying a pregame clubhouse visit by the Stanley Cup champion Bruins before the Red Sox honored them with an on-field ceremony.

“I had my picture taken with the Cup,” Wakefield said, smiling. “I wasn’t touching it. It’s theirs.”

A few minutes after the Red Sox honored the Bruins, they turned Fenway into a TD Garden atmosphere during their six-run first inning, blaring a loud fog horn and playing the same music that’s played down the other end of the city when the hockey team scores.

Members of the Bruins, who captured the Cup with a Game 7 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, rode in on four Duck Boats — as they did in a parade through the street of Boston on Saturday.

As they entered, Bruins players, most dressed in their black jerseys, threw soft baseballs and pucks to the fans. Red Sox employees were waving Bruins flags with players names and numbers on them in a ring around the upper seating.

After the boats circled the warning track, they walked in from center behind captain Zdeno Chara, who carried the Cup most of the way, before they all took part in a ceremonial first pitch with members of the Red Sox.

Wakefield then went out and retired the Brewers on 12 pitches — 11 strikes — before his teammates took control.

“Youk with the big hit, but we kept going,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia opened the first with singles and advanced on a wild pitch before Adrian Gonzalez reached on starter Yovani Gallardo’s fielding error when he dropped first baseman Fielder’s toss covering the bag. Ellsbury scored on the play. Youkilis then followed with his homer into the seats above the Green Monster, making it 4-0.

David Ortiz and J.D. Drew followed with singles, and Josh Reddick walked with two outs, loading the bases for Ellsbury’s ground-rule double that made it 6-0.

“It felt great,” Ortiz said of the Bruins’ pregame visit. “You don’t get to see a trophy like that every day.”

Dustin Pedroia had a solo homer and drove in two runs, and Marco Scutaro hit a two-run shot for the Red Sox, who won their 13th in 15 games.

Nyjer Morgan and Prince Fielder homered for Milwaukee, which dropped two of three games at Fenway Park this weekend and have lost five of seven overall since winning eight of 10.

Wakefield (4-2) only gave up Casey McGehee’s second-inning double besides the two homers in posting his 183rd career win with the Red Sox. He struck out six and walked one.

“He threw a lot of strikes,” Francona said. “His ball was moving.”

Gallardo (8-4) was tagged for eight runs — five earned — on nine hits, walked two and struck out four in three-plus innings. The right-hander had allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts.

“You never want to have a first inning like that. It was tough, it was definitely tough,” he said. “I think most importantly, just falling behind hitters. Whenever I was ahead, everything was fine. But it just seemed for some reason I fell behind them and just had to throw balls a little bit more over the plate.”

And it didn’t get any better for him after the first.

Milwaukee cut it to 6-2 on Morgan’s two-run homer in the top of the second, but Boston broke it open with two in fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth. The Red Sox chased him in the fourth.

In the fourth, Pedroia homered leading off and Gonzalez tripled for his 1,000th career hit. Gonzalez scored on Ortiz’s ground out, making it 8-2.

Pedroia also had a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Scutaro’s two-run homer off Sergio Mitre made it 11-2 in the sixth.

Fielder homered into the right-field seats in the seventh. Gonzalez had an RBI single in the bottom half.

Notes: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he wasn’t sure if Shaun Marcum, who left Friday’s game with a left hip flexor, would make his next start. “We’ll have to make that decision (Monday),” he said. The manager said Marcum had an MRI on Saturday and will be checked out again at home on Monday. … Roenicke proved to be correct about Wakefield in his pregame meeting with the media. “It’s completely different (facing him),” he said. “You can’t prepare for him. If he’s got a good knuckleball you’re not going to hit him.” … The Red Sox placed RHP Clay Buchholz on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back that’s been bothering him for a few games and recalled LHP Andrew Miller from Triple-A Pawtucket. Miller, who went 3-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 13 games with the Pawsox, is scheduled to start on Monday. “We’ve got to get him healthy for the rest of the year,” Francona said of sending Buccholz to the DL. … Brewers usher Bob Kozlowski sang ‘God Bless America’ during the seventh-inning stretch. … Gonzalez matched his career-high with his third triple of the year.

IN SATURDAY NIGHT’S GAME, Jon Lester overcame a shaky start and kept the Boston Red Sox in the game.

It wasn’t enough for him to become the majors’ first 10-game winner.

Lester gave up back-to-back homers on successive pitches to Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart to start the game as the Milwaukee Brewers topped the Red Sox 4-2 on Saturday night.

He allowed another solo shot to former teammate George Kottaras, giving up four runs in the first three innings, but settled down and pitched through eight.

“We lost,” said Lester (9-3) when asked if he was pleased with how he rebounded. “You can sit back and say there were some positives. With the way it started, it could have been a lot worse. I just tried to minimize the damage and keep the guys in the game.

The Red Sox had averaged 7.7 runs per game in winning 12 of their previous 13 games. But Randy Wolf (5-4), a lefty who changes speeds, gave up two runs that tied the game in the second and then lasted through seven, scattering nine hits. Relievers Kameron Loe and John Axford pitched an inning apiece, with Axford earning his 19th save.

“Obviously, with the way we’ve been swinging the bats lately, I thought for sure if I just kept them where they were at we’d have a chance,” Lester said. “But you’ve got to tip your hat to Randy Wolf tonight. He threw the ball better than I did. That’s the main thing: You’ve got to outpitch the other guy. He did that tonight.”

Weeks became a statistical oddity in the first inning when Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez dropped his foul pop and then Weeks hit the next pitch for a home run, becoming an unearned run as the leadoff hitter of a game. He became the first player to lead off a game by having his foul pop dropped before hitting a home run since Warren Cromartie of the Montreal Expos homered off Bill Caudill of the Chicago Cubs — after third baseman Steve Ontiveros dropped Cromartie’s foul fly, July 4, 1979, according to information provided to the teams by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Hart then homered on the next pitch and Kottaras, who played for the Red Sox in both 2008 and ’09, homered to lead off the third.

Following two outs, Lester lost the strike zone and walked Ryan Braun and Price Fielder before Casey McGehee singled home the fourth run.

The three homers matched a career high for Lester, who also yielded three opening day. He has allowed 14 homers this season, matching his total for last year.

“I haven’t given it enough thought. I probably should,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Lester’s home run total.

As far as his lefty’s outing, the manager said: “After (the third), he put up five zeros. We just couldn’t get anything going.”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Cameron drove in the Boston runs off Wolf.

Wolf got out of trouble after the Red Sox tied it. He left runners on first and second in the third and allowed a leadoff double to Marco Scutaro before retiring the next three batters in the fourth.

Boston had won its last 11 when facing a left-handed starter, its longest stretch since 13 in a row in 2008.

Notes: It was Weeks’ fourth leadoff homer this season. … The Red Sox placed LF Carl Crawford on the 15-day DL before the game with a strained left hamstring. He suffered the injury beating out an infield hit in Friday’s 10-4 win. … Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said RHP Shaun Marcum, who left Friday’s game with a left hip flexor, was expected to be checked out by a doctor at Fenway Park on Saturday night and again by the Brewers medical staff on Monday. “He was scheduled to throw a side on Monday, but he may have to skip a start,” Roenicke said. … The game was moved from a scheduled 1:10 start to 7:10 to help reduce congestion around the city as many fans were attending a “Rolling Rally” in the afternoon to celebrate the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. … Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon served the second of his three-game suspension handed down for bumping plate umpire Tony Randazzo on June 4.

 

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