KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A month might not seem like much in the context of a 19-year career. After five failed attempts at win No. 200, though, Tim Wakefield has to be wondering when the baseball gods will throw him a bone.
Wakefield was poised to achieve the milestone Saturday in Kansas City, but then everything imploded for the Red Sox. The Royals scored eight times in the sixth inning, pounding Boston's bullpen in a 9-4 win.
Wakefield entered the sixth inning with a 4-1 lead, having allowed only an RBI double to Billy Butler in the third.
The rally started harmlessly enough, with rookie Eric Hosmer sending a hot shot past Marco Scutaro's glove at short. Jeff Francoeur then cranked an RBI double into the left-center gap, followed by another double from Mike Moustakas that sailed over Josh Reddick's head in right.
With the Red Sox lead trimmed to 4-3, Wakefield put win No. 200 in the hands of the Boston bullpen. That's when things really unraveled for Boston, as the Royals scored four more runs with reliever Matt Albers on the mound.
Albers walked the first batter he faced, then yielded a ground-ball single to Chris Getz to tie the game. Alex Gordon put the Royals in front by lacing a two-run double, followed by Melky Cabrera's RBI single.
Albers, who allowed five runs in one-third of an inning, gave way to Franklin Morales, who promptly surrendered another triple to Hosmer.
For the better part of six innings, it looked like Wakefield might get win No. 200 the same way he got the first 199, floating knuckleballs that seemed to have the Royals guessing. The Red Sox scored four runs against Royals starter Felipe Paulino, getting RBIs from Carl Crawford, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Lavarnway.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, manufacturing a run with a walk, a wild pitch, a bunt single and Marco Scutaro's ground-ball double play.
The Royals answered in the bottom of the inning, tying the game on Butler's two-out double. Butler's slicer skipped past the glove of Reddick and rolled into the rightfield corner, allowing Alcides Escobar to score from second.
The Red Sox reclaimed the lead with a run in the third and added two more in the fourth, but the bullpen blowup means Wakefield will have to wait at least five more days for win No. 200.