He didn’t make it easy on himself, but Tim Wakefield finally has his 200th career victory.

The veteran knuckleballer coughed up two early leads spotted to him by the Red Sox’s suddenly potent bats. But Boston took charge for good and “held on” for an 18-6 victory.

That was enough to give the ‘W’ to Wakefield, who gave up five runs on six hits in six innings of work. He fanned six and walked two.

“Wake” had gone winless since beating the Mariners for No. 199 on July 24.


Likewise, the Sox had gone winless in five games going into last night. With the Rays nipping at their heels, they needed a victory — and the bats delivered one.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia put Boston ahead with home runs in the bottom of the fourth, and Pedroia’s three-run shot to left two innings later broke the game wide open.

And unlike last week in Toronto, the Sox bullpen didn’t blow it.

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