Red Sox News: Heartwarming Wakefield tribute, epic first pitch, Sunday trends

San Diego Padres v Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres v Boston Red Sox / Jaiden Tripi/GettyImages

San Diego Padres pitcher Matt Waldron grew up in awe of Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. He became MLB's only active knuckleballer in 2024.

Waldron started for the Padres in their final game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He opened his outing with a knuckleball to honor Wakefield, an idol and mentor to the young hurler.

The Red Sox got the best of Waldron in his first-ever start in Boston for three runs on six hits over 4,1 frames. The 27-year-old righty throws his knuckleball just over 39% of the time and he's logged a 3.56 ERA through 93.2 innings this season.

Waldron and Wakefield worked together to fine-tune the former's knuckleball via Zoom calls organized by the Padres organization. Waldron gave an emotional postgame presser in honor of the Red Sox legend and his idol.

Matt Waldron honors Red Sox legend Tim Wakefield with knuckleball and emotional postgame interview

WWE champion Liv Morgan brought the energy to Fenway Park for her June 30 first pitch

WWE women's World Champion Liv Morgan threw out the first pitch before Waldron's sentimental start on Sunday afternoon. She sported her championship belt during her appearance on NESN's pregame show and carried it to the mound before her ceremonial toss.

The Red Sox featured Morgan ahead of WWE Monday Night Raw at TD Garden on July 1, where Morgan will fight to retain her championship.

Red Sox continue Sunday trend with victory over Padres on June 30

The Red Sox staved off a sweep against the Padres with a 4-1 victory on June 30. San Diego took the series' first two games, which included a rare loss for Boston in its City Connect uniforms.

But the Red Sox continued a 2024-exclusive trend of unprecedented success on Sundays. Boston is 13-1 in Sunday games this season, its only week-opening loss came after a 10-inning bout with the Tigers on June 2.

The Padres' pitching stymied the Sox's bats in the first two games of their series, but homers from All-Star hopefuls Rafael Devers and Jarren Duran helped them get back in the win column on their clear favorite day of the week.

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