Jon Lester couldn’t pull the Red Sox out of their wild-card tailspin Sunday.

Instead, that job will fall to the man who’s seemed absolutely snakebit lately.

If Boston is going to hold off hard-charging Tampa Bay for the fourth AL playoff spot, they’ll need Tim Wakefield to finally earn that elusive 200th career victory.


var params={wmode: 'opaque'}; addPlayer('06c7c348-13be-4bf5-b1f0-8f1e92cfcb4c', '', 13191, 'zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx', true, false, 'zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx', 'eplayer2');

Wakefield is on the mound tonight against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. They’re the team that denied him his milestone victory — again — with a late rally last Wednesday.

“If it happens, it happens,” Wakefield said then. “If it doesn’t, it doesn’t change what I’ve done. I’d like it to happen, but more important is for us to get into the postseason. That’s our ultimate goal.”

Little did he know how prophetic those words would be. When the Blue Jays battered Daniel Bard for that 11-10 win, the Sox held a relatively comfortable lead over the Rays in the wild-card standings.

But Boston’s Canadian implosion started a five-game losing streak, which saw the team’s grasp on a postseason berth slip to a paltry 3.5 games.

“We have an opportunity ahead of us to play good baseball for two and a half weeks, ride that momentum into the postseason,” GM Theo Epstein told WEEI yesterday. “If we don't do it, we don't deserve to be there.”

Latest From ...