Even the veteran knuckleballer couldn’t “Wake” the Red Sox up.

The Rays knocked Tim Wakefield around yesterday, beating Boston 8-5 and trimming their deficit in the AL Wild Card race to just two games.

Tampa Bay took three of four from the free-falling Sox over the weekend, moving within spitting distance of taking the fourth playoff spot -— an outcome that seemed unthinkable mere weeks ago.

Wakefield, fresh off his 200th career win, couldn’t repeat the feat at Fenway Park yesterday. He lasted just four innings, surrendering six runs (four earned). The surging Rays took a 3-0 lead in the second, and never really came close to giving it up.

 

About the only Sox highlight was a three-run rally in the seventh.

Boston entered September a shoo-in for the postseason. But they’ve lost 13 of 17 this month, putting them on the verge of one of the biggest collapses in baseball history.

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