<
>

Pedro pours two-hit water on red-hot Angels

7/31/2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels learned there's no room for errors when Pedro Martinez is pitching.

Martinez pitched two-hit ball for eight innings and struck out
nine as the Boston Red Sox used home runs from Jason Varitek and
Shea Hillenbrand to beat Anaheim 6-0 Tuesday night.

"That's vintage Pedro Martinez,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia
said. "About the third inning, he really started to get into a
rhythm, changed speeds, hit his spots.''

The Red Sox, who acquired slugging outfielder Cliff Floyd in a trade with Montreal during the game, cut Anaheim's lead in the wild card race to one game.

"Cliff is a good player and a good teammate,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "Everybody likes Cliff Floyd and he's got a lot of ability, and we're glad to have him with us.''

Boston remained five games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East. The Angels dropped one behind first-place Seattle in the West.

Anaheim's three errors tied a season high, and their two hits
were a season low. They were shut out for the seventh time.

"We were lucky to get a couple of errors from them, and we took advantage of those opportunities,'' Martinez said. "I wasn't giving up much, either, so that really buried them.''

Martinez (14-2) left after 93 pitches and was relieved by Ugueth Urbina. The three-time Cy Young winner limited Anaheim to leadoff singles in the second and fourth innings by Brad Fullmer and Darin Erstad.

"It's more important right now that I stay healthy and continue to do the things I have to do,'' Martinez said. "With the game wide open like that, it was good for them to take me out and get someone else in there to get one inning of work.''

Urbina pitched a perfect ninth, setting down the last three of 17 straight Angels to be retired. The game took just 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Fullmer was picked off by Martinez, and Erstad was erased on
Garret Anderson's 3-6-3 double-play grounder. Anaheim's only other
baserunner was Tim Salmon, who walked in the first.

Martinez retired his last 14 batters, improving to 7-0 with a 1.10 ERA in his last eight starts. He lowered his season ERA to 2.36, just .13 higher than league-leading teammate Derek Lowe.

Midway through the game, the Red Sox got Floyd in a trade that
sent minor league right-handers Sun-Woo Kim and Seung Song to the
Expos.

"I always said we didn't need anything, but we don't make those decisions,'' Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra said. "I'm happy with our team. We're sitting pretty, and I'm confident with the guys who have been playing day in and day out.''

Ramon Ortiz (9-8) was charged with six runs and seven hits in
six innings.

"Pedro is the best pitcher in the major leagues. To beat that guy, you have to throw a very good game,'' Ortiz said.

Three of Ortiz's runs were unearned, the result of three errors by an Anaheim defense that entered tied with Minnesota for the fewest in the AL at 56.

"That was very uncharacteristic of us to shoot ourselves in the foot like that,'' Scioscia said. "We opened the door against a good club with a tremendous pitcher on the mound, and that's not a good combination.''

Varitek opened the scoring with a two-out solo homer in the
fourth inning, his eighth of the season. It extended his hitting
streak to 16 games -- the longest of his career.

The Red Sox increased the lead to 5-0 with four runs in the
fifth, parlaying errors by shortstop David Eckstein and first
baseman Fullmer with consecutive one-out RBI doubles by Johnny
Damon, Trot Nixon and Garciaparra.

"If I don't make that one mistake, all the other ones don't happen,'' Eckstein said. "Especially with Pedro on the mound, you can't do that in the field. Pedro was really on, he was dominating.''

In the sixth, Eckstein grounded to first, with Martinez covering. Eckstein tried to hold Martinez up, but he made contact with the pitcher as he crossed first.

"I stepped on his foot,'' Eckstein said. "The last thing I
want to do is hurt him. He said he was fine.''

Hillenbrand led off the sixth with his 15th homer, one pitch
after Angels catcher Jose Molina was charged with an error for
dropping a foul pop near the first-base dugout.

It was the 30th home run allowed by Ortiz, most in the majors.

Game notes
The Red Sox have 22 homers in their last 10 games. ...
Anaheim's Bengie Molina caught six innings in a rehabilitation
assignment at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He went 1-for-2 with a walk
and threw one runner out at second attempting to steal. ... Nixon's
double extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. ...
The only other time the Angels made three errors in a game this
season was April 24 in a 10-6 victory at Seattle. ... Struggling 3B
Troy Glaus was given the day off by Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
Glaus is batting .240, and was 0-for-4 with a strikeout Monday
night.