Wakefield oldest Sox player to notch win

Wakefield oldest Sox player to notch win

BOSTON -- Tim Wakefield didn't merely earn a win in the Red Sox's 11-5 thrashing of the Rays on Wednesday night. He became the oldest pitcher in Red Sox history to win a game. At 44 years and 37 days, he surpassed Dennis Eckersley, who was fittingly taking in the game from the Legends Suite at Fenway Park.

"It means a lot, considering I've been here for 16 years," said Wakefield. "Any time you can have some kind of milestone, it's very important. I'm very proud to do it in a Red Sox uniform."

Wakefield has 193 wins in his career -- 179 of them coming in a Boston uniform. He needs another 14 wins for the Red Sox to surpass Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the team's all-time winningest pitcher.

The knuckleballer doesn't hide his desire to one day earn that record.

"Absolutely," Wakefield said. "I hope we get an opportunity to try to get that. You guys know how important that is for me. Hopefully I get some opportunities to reach that milestone."

It hasn't been an easy year for Wakefield, who is 4-10 with a 5.26 ERA. He was demoted to the bullpen at the end of April and has bounced back and forth throughout the year. Statistically speaking, he's having his worst season since 2000, when he was 6-10 with a 5.48 ERA.

"It's been difficult," said Wakefield. "I try to take it a day at a time and do the best I can when I get called upon. Tonight was the one bad inning again. All three guys that scored, I had them 0-2, 1-2, and couldn't get them out. But I was the benefactor of some great run support from our offense."

Wakefield went five innings, giving up six hits and five runs, four of which were earned. He walked two and struck out four.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.