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SEA@BOS: Wakefield notches his 2,000th K for Boston

In a pitching career that came with fewer promises than most, there was no guarantee that Tim Wakefield would get a chance to start this season, certainly not with consistency. But as much as injuries have hurt the Red Sox's rotation, they've helped Wakefield on an individual basis, and on Friday in Chicago, the 44-year-old knuckleballer can notch the 200th win of his career.

"I've been fortunate this year to pitch as well as I have," said Wakefield, who id 6-3 with a 5.15 ERA heading into the opener of the three-game set. "The last couple [starts] haven't been that great, but they've been good enough. I'm fortunate to be on a great team, and I've been able to get some wins here and there."

Boston comes to town having split a four-game series with the Royals. The White Sox, who were off Thursday and just took a three-game series from the Tigers, have won four of their last five.

Right-hander Gavin Floyd is on the hill for the White Sox on Friday.

Prior to Chicago's 2-1 win over Detroit on Wednesday, general manager Ken Williams had a message for manager Ozzie Guillen.

"Here's what I told Ozzie: 'Do not worry about the size of the contracts. Just worry about putting the players out there on a given day that can win,'" Williams said. "The size of the contract is not Ozzie's problem. It's not [owner Jerry Reinsdorf's] problem. It's not the coaches' problems. That's my problem."

Williams added: "Put the players on the field that can win. I don't give a darn if one guy is making $400,000 and the other guy is making $12 million."

Guillen heeded Williams' advice on Wednesday, starting Alejandro De Aza, who was called up to replace Mark Teahen after he was traded to Toronto in a four-player swap, in center field instead of Alex Rios. De Aza responded, hitting a two-run homer that proved to be the difference in Chicago's victory.

Guillen said he wasn't only sending a message to Rios by starting the youngster over the veteran; he was sending a message to everyone. Guillen also said he didn't think it would light a fire under Rios to perform better.

"We've talked about it maybe three times about how we feel about [Rios]. I don't think you bring people [up] to push people to get better," Guillen said. "I think you bring people [up] to make the ballclub better, and hopefully that move does that."

Wakefield last faced the White Sox on June 1, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings in a no-decision. Floyd went 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs his last time facing against Boston, a 7-4 victory on June 1.

Red Sox: Crawford expected back in lineup

• Left fielder Carl Crawford, who is dealing with a strained left elbow, expects to be back in Boston's starting lineup Friday. Crawford received an injection after Tuesday's game and doctors told him he needed 48 hours of rest.

• Hitless in his first three plate appearances, Dustin Pedroia hit a leadoff homer in the eighth inning Thursday to bring his hit streak to 25 games.

White Sox: Sellers or buyers?
• With a three-game series against the Tigers in the books, the White Sox will use this series against Boston as the final barometer to determine whether they're sellers or buyers as Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Despite Wednesday's trade of Edwin Jackson and Teahen to Toronto, Williams said where the White Sox sit as the Deadline nears is still to be determined.

• Floyd is undefeated in seven games (six starts) against Boston, holding a 5-0 record and a 3.83 ERA. The right-hander has won his last two starts, working 7 2/3 innings in each and allowing a total of one earned run.

Worth noting
• On Wednesday, David Ortiz joined Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bobby Doerr as the only players to notch 1,000 RBIs with the Red Sox.

• Chicago's Omar Vizquel is hitting .356 (21-for-59) with five doubles and seven RBIs against Wakefield. Comments