BOSTON (Reuters) - Tim Wakefield ended the long wait for his 200th career win on Tuesday, the 45-year-old knuckleball pitcher picking up the victory in Boston's 18-6 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Wakefield, who had been stuck on 199 wins since July 24, had a shaky start on Tuesday but made the best of the Red Sox batters' offensive support to record the milestone.
"I'm very grateful," Wakefield told reporters.
"One, that it's over with. Two, that it was able to happen here at Fenway Park in front of our home crowd," added the pitcher, who has played in Boston since 1995 and helped them to two World Series titles.
"I'm very grateful that I've been able to wear this uniform as long as I have and reach the milestone I thought I'd never reach. Just very grateful."
Wakefield (7-6) allowed five runs, including two homers, over six innings against the Blue Jays, leaving the game with the Red Sox leading 6-5.
Boston pulled away with four runs in the sixth, then exploded for seven more in the eighth to snap a five-games losing streak and brighten their playoff outlook.
The Red Sox (86-61) now have a four-games lead over the Tampa Bay Rays (82-65) in the American League Wild Card race.
Dustin Pedroia finished the game 4-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs to help make it a memorable night for his veteran pitcher.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)