CHICAGO (AP) - Tim Wakefield had some early thoughts about his 200th victory, then went to work. His knuckleball was working for most of seven innings. He pitched well enough to win most games.
Gavin Floyd was just a little better Friday night, now Wakefield will have to wait for his milestone victory.
Wakefield gave up A.J. Pierzynski's tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox struggled against Floyd, losing 3-1 to the Chicago White Sox.
``I thought about it a little bit before the game, but once I got done with my warmups and into the game, I wanted to win for us, not for me personally,' said Wakefield, who beat Seattle last Sunday to get within one of 200. ``We're still in first place but we need to get some wins as a team.'
Floyd (9-9) allowed one run - Jarrod Saltalamacchia's leadoff homer in the third - and three hits in seven innings. The 6-foot-6 right-hander improved to 3-0 with a sparkling 0.81 ERA in his last three starts while running his career record against Boston to 6-0 in eight appearances.
``He commanded, he changed speeds, he cut his fastball, he stayed away to the lefties,' Boston manager Terry Francona said. ``He came in enough to get in on us a little bit, he worked ahead. He was very, very good. We've seen it before when he's really good.'
Wakefield (6-4) also allowed three hits in seven innings. But his wild pitch in the sixth helped set up Paul Konerko's tying sacrifice fly. And he walked Carlos Quentin before Pierzynski drove his fifth homer into the seats in right-center to make it 3-1.
``(Wakefield) gave up three hits, unfortunately one stayed up to Pierzynski,' Francona said. ``It leaves the ballpark, and the way their guy pitched, it was too much.'
The Red Sox played without first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the majors in batting average and RBIs but was scratched with a stiff neck. Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 4, ending his 25-game hitting streak.
Gonzalez should be back Saturday.
``I wish we could have come out and swung the bats better for Wake,' Pedroia said.
Chicago now has beaten Boston seven straight times.
``They've played good against us, that's basically it,' Pedroia said.
Saltalamacchia connected on a full-count pitch for his ninth homer, giving Boston an early lead.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the sixth but Floyd threw a called third strike past Kevin Youkilis to end the inning.
Wakefield tossed 3 2-3 hitless innings before Adam Dunn singled, and Chicago didn't get another hit until Juan Pierre had a leadoff bunt single in the sixth. Switch-hitting Omar Vizquel, batting right-handed against the right-handed Wakefield, sacrificed before Pierre reached third on a wild pitch. Konerko then delivered a fly ball to left.
NOTES: Saltalamacchia's homer was Boston's 68th on the road this season. ... Youkilis, who moved from third to first after Gonzalez was scratched, made a nice diving stop on Alejandro De Aza's grounder in the fourth. ... Wakefield is now 7-13 in his career against the White Sox.
The Associated Press News Service
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