<
>

Martinez struggles early, Wakefield blows it late

DETROIT (AP) -- Luis Pujols called it Detroit's best win of the
year.

The Tigers tagged Boston ace Pedro Martinez for four runs in the
first inning then had to rally to beat the Red Sox 7-6 on Shane
Halter's RBI double in the 10th Monday night.

''We played hard, we played well and we came back from behind,''
said Pujols, Detroit's manager.

Martinez gave up consecutive homers to begin a game for the
first time in his career, then finished strong for his second
straight no-decision.

''I threw strikes and they hit them out,'' Martinez said.
''There's nothing I can do about it. I felt pretty good and I was
able to bounce back after the first inning.''

The Red Sox went ahead 6-4 on Trot Nixon's two-run homer in the
fourth, but Tim Wakefield (2-2) couldn't hold the lead.

Ramon Santiago's second homer of the game -- and his career --
pulled Detroit within a run in the seventh, and Wendell Magee tied
it with a two-out single in the eighth against Wakefield.

Detroit then won it in the 10th. Bobby Higginson led off the
inning with a walk and pinch-runner Damian Jackson went to second
on a one-out balk.

Halter's drive off the center-field wall ended the game, giving
Boston just its sixth loss in 28 road games this season and Detroit
its 21st win of the season.

''We did a good job of coming right back, then Trot hit a big
homer for us,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. ''That's what
we've been doing all year. We just didn't get a win out of it this
time.''

Juan Acevedo (1-1) gave up only one hit in two innings --
extending his scoreless-inning streak to 16 innings -- to end
Detroit's four-game losing streak.

Jeff Farnsworth relieved Steve Sparks after just 3 1-3 innings
and matched a career-high with 3 2-3 scoreless innings

The 52-degree night and cavernous Comerica Park -- where Martinez
pitched for the first time -- seemed like the perfect combination
for another one of Martinez's masterful performances.

It didn't take long to dispel that notion.

Santiago hit his first career homer 397 feet over the
right-field fence, then Damion Easley homered to left.

Santiago had two homers in 429 at-bats at Class-A Lakeland last
season.

''He got some juice out of nowhere,'' Pujols said.

Martinez had gone nearly two years without giving up more than
one home run in a game and it had been almost three years since he
gave up consecutive homers in a game.

Bobby Higginson and Dmitri Young followed the homers with
back-to-back singles -- to extend their hitting streaks to 13 and 16
games respectively -- and scored to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead in
the first.

That's all the Tigers could manage off Martinez, who allowed
four runs and seven hits in six innings.

With two outs in the second inning, the Red Sox hit five singles
-- including Carlos Baerga's two-run grounder up the middle to tie
the game at 4.

Martinez, who struck out the side in the second after giving up
the four runs, retired the last nine batters he faced before being
replaced by Wakefield after throwing 96 pitches.

''We showed a lot of fight against the best pitcher in baseball
and the best team right now in the AL,'' Easley said.

Sparks continued to struggle for the Tigers, allowing six runs
and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. In his last five starts, he is 1-3
with a 11.22 ERA.

''It's kind of frustrating because I can't put a string of good
knuckleballs together,'' Sparks said.

Game notes
Boston 2B Rey Sanchez left the game in the fourth inning
because of tightness in his right hamstring. ... Lou Whitaker and
Alan Trammell were the last Tigers to start a game with consecutive
homers on Aug. 5, 1986, against Cleveland. ... The Red Sox hadn't
given up consecutive homers this season. ... Martinez last gave up
more than one homer against Toronto on June 25, 2000, and last gave
up consecutive home runs on June 10, 1998, against Atlanta. ...
Martinez pitched against the Tigers for the first time since April
20, 1999, when he beat rookie Jeff Weaver in Tiger Stadium. ...
Martinez had given up just three homers this season before Monday.
... Boston 1B Tony Clark, waived by the Tigers after last season,
was booed during each at-bat. ... Nixon is hitting .357 with 11
homers and 25 RBI in 112 at-bats against the Tigers.