Francona goes for win No. 501 with Sox

Francona goes for win No. 501

DETROIT -- He didn't have a bottle of champagne waiting in his office. There didn't appear to be any lineup cards he would tuck away. For Red Sox manager Terry Francona, win No. 500 in a Boston uniform -- which came Tuesday night against the Tigers -- was just another reason for him to spread the credit around.

"Obviously, I don't spend a lot of time looking at personal stuff, because I didn't know [it was No. 500]," Francona said. "I think what it means is that I'm really lucky to be part of an organization that has a lot of players that have really been good, and doing it with a staff that probably helps me out more than I help them. That's probably what it means to me."

Francona joins Joe Cronin (1,071 wins) and Mike Higgins (560) as the only managers in Red Sox history to reach the milestone.

He goes for No. 501 on Wednesday when ace Josh Beckett takes the mound.

"That's a pretty big feat here in this city," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "Congratulations to Tito. That's a great accomplishment."

Of the 30 Major League managers, Francona became the seventh to notch 500 wins with his current team. The others are Bobby Cox (Braves), Tony LaRussa (Cardinals), Mike Scioscia (Angels), Cito Gaston (Blue Jays), Ron Gardenhire (Twins) and Eric Wedge (Indians.

500 club
With Boston's 5-1 win vs. Detroit on Tuesday, Red Sox manager Terry Francona became the seventh active manager with at least 500 wins for his current club.
1998-1587.557Bobby CoxBraves1978-81, 1990-2009
1171-984.543Tony LaRussaCardinals1996-2009
828-680.549Mike SciosciaAngels2000-09
764-697.523Cito GastonBlue Jays1989-97, 2008-09
648-539.546Ron GardenhireTwins2002-09
518-507.505Eric WedgeIndians2003-09
500-362.580Terry FranconaRed Sox2004-009

"I didn't even know that," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "That's quite an accomplishment. Hopefully, there's many more than 500 for him."

What has made Francona so successful with the Red Sox?

"I just think he has a good pulse of the team," said Pedroia. "I think he understands how hard the game is and knows what we go through every day. This game is not easy. He knows that. He knows when to push the right buttons and when not to."

Francona has won the World Series twice in his five full seasons with the Red Sox. Before his arrival, the team hadn't won it all in 86 years.

The Red Sox have another championship contender this year, as they enter Wednesday's game one game behind the Yankees in the American League East.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (5-2, 4.60 ERA)
Beckett had another strong outing, this time against the Twins at the Metrodome on Thursday afternoon. The ace righty received the win by allowing only one earned run on three hits and four walks in seven innings while whiffing eight. The only run came on a Joe Crede solo homer. Beckett has allowed only three earned runs over his past three starts, covering 22 innings. Beckett is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts against the Tigers.

DET: RHP Armando Galarraga (3-5, 5.50 ERA)
Has Galarraga turned a corner? The Tigers certainly hope so, and though the right-hander has dropped five straight decisions, he finally put together a better effort in a 5-1 loss at Baltimore on Thursday. Galarraga surrendered 10 hits, but kept the Tigers in the game. Where he was battered in previous outings this season, Galarraga surrendered only two runs, on solo homers to Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold. The homers, however, continue to be a problem for Galarraga, who has allowed 11 this season after serving up 28 long balls last year.

Thirteen of Jason Bay's 16 homers have come with at least one runner on base, ranking him first in the AL in that category. ... Pedroia has 40 runs this season. ... Jacoby Ellsbury has 21 multihit games. ... Hideki Okajima has turned in 14 consecutive scoreless outings.

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Up next
• Thursday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 6-3, 4.55) at Tigers (Dontrelle Willis, 1-2, 5.56), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Brad Penny, 5-1, 5.63) vs. Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 4-4, 3.23), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 4-5, 5.65) vs. Rangers (Derek Holland, 1-2, 6.33), 7:10 p.m. ET

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