Red Sox' Wakefield retires after 19 years

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Tim Wakefield is retiring after pitching the last 17 seasons for the Boston Red Sox.

The 45-year-old knuckleballer made the announcement at the team's spring training facility Friday.

After two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the right-hander signed as a minor-league free agent in April 1995. He was 186-168 with a 4.43 ERA with the Red Sox. Only Roger Clemens and Cy Young had more wins (192) with the team.

Wakefield is first in team history with 3,006 innings and 430 starts, and second in games and strikeouts.

For his career, Wakefield was 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA He was 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA last season in 23 starts and 10 relief appearances.

Wakefield was the oldest player in the majors last season.

On Sept. 13, Wakefield earned his 200th win on his eighth try, in an 18-6 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Wakefield went six innings and overcame a shaky outing to retire his final six batters. He left with a 6-5 lead after allowing six hits and two walks. He struck out two.

The following day, prior to a matinee game with Toronto, he was honored for his accomplishment.

It turned out to be his last victory.