Wakefield on track for start

BALTIMORE -- Tim Wakefield made it through a Friday afternoon bullpen session without reporting any weakness in his legs, and Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the knuckleballer is on target to start Monday at Kansas City.

Wakefield has experienced a strength deficiency in his legs, a condition related to the back problems that sent him to the disabled list for five weeks and have limited him to two starts since the All-Star break.

"He did pretty well. He threw approximately 40 [pitches]," Francona said. "I think he actually felt some improvement over the other day."

Francona said the right-hander will be examined Saturday and undergo additional strength testing to make sure there were no ill effects from Friday's workout. If Wakefield continues to improve, he will start against the Royals, Francona said.

"If his strength was down, he wouldn't have been able to go through the [bullpen session]," Francona said.

Asked if the Monday assignment was a sure thing, Wakefield said: "In my mind, it is."

Wakefield is 11-4 with a 4.22 ERA in 19 starts this season.