It's the best start to a season for a 15-year veteran whose career began with the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates under manager Jim Leyland, who still keeps in touch with him.
"He's one of the all-time professional people in the game," Leyland said.
He's also an interesting test for a Tigers lineup that hit one ground ball out after another against Daisuke Matsuzaka's combination of fastball and cutter in a 7-1 loss on Monday, just the second time this month that Detroit's offense scored fewer than three runs in a game. The Tigers entered the night leading the Majors with a .318 average in May.
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (4-3, 1.79 ERA)
DET: RHP Justin Verlander (3-1, 2.83 ERA)
Although Verlander is a power pitcher, he pitches well to contact, which was both good and bad in his last start against the Mariners. Verlander walked just one over 5 1/3 innings in the Tigers' 7-3 win, but he allowed nine hits, all of them singles. He got the win, but Leyland would like to see Verlander decrease his pitch count so he can pitch further into games. Verlander, who threw 98 against the Mariners, said he is trying to throw his changeup more often to right-handers to prevent them from sitting on his 99-mph fastball.
The knuckleballer is on one of those red-hot streaks he's been known for over the years. In fact, Wakefield has not been scored on in 14 innings over his last two starts, which were both victories. In all seven of his starts, he's allowed three earned runs or less. This will be Wakefield's third start of the season at Fenway. Lifetime against the Tigers, Wakefield is 13-9 with a 4.41 ERA.
Player to watch
Magglio Ordonez is 13-for-30 lifetime against Wakefield with five doubles, a home run and five RBIs.
On the Internet
Official game notes
Wednesday: Tigers (Mike Maroth, 3-0, 4.69) at Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 1-4, 6.60), 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Tigers (Chad Durbin, 3-1, 5.08) at Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 4-1, 3.63), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Cardinals (Braden Looper, 5-2, 2.29) at Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman, 2-0, 4.20), 7:05 p.m. ET