BOSTON (AP) -- Only a rain delay could knock Pedro Martinez out
of a game against Cleveland.
Martinez was once again sharp against the Indians, combining
with three relievers on a four-hitter as the Boston Red Sox posted
a 6-1 victory in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Monday.
In the second game, Brian Tallet pitched six shutout innings in his
major league debut and Travis Fryman hit a three-run homer to lift
Cleveland to a 7-1 victory and a split of
their day-night doubleheader.
Boston's defeat cut the New York Yankees' magic number in the American League East to four.
Martinez left Fenway Park in uniform after the game to get
something to eat, then returned for the second game.
He called himself a "picky eater'' who rarely dines on
"I went home to eat,'' Martinez said with a smile. "Yes, I was
nice and clean. I took a shower.''
Other players left the ballpark between games, too, a Red Sox
spokesperson said. There was no buffet set up in the clubhouse
after the first game.
Martinez (19-4), who raised his career record to 9-1 against the
Indians with a 1.78 ERA, continued his pursuit of his second career
20-win season and his fourth Cy Young award.
He was removed after pitching five innings with the Red Sox
leading 3-0 following a one-hour, 12-minute rain delay.
''That kind of sealed the deal,'' Boston manager Grady Little
said. ''Had we not (had the lead), there might have been more
discussion on what to do after the rain delay.''
As the rain started falling in the fifth, catcher Jason Varitek
said there was an urgency to get the inning over, making it a legal
game and leaving Martinez in line for the victory.
"I had shown the Cleveland Indians a lot of breaking balls
early in the game,'' said Martinez, who threw all fastballs in the
fifth. "I thought they were going to be swinging. Pedro throws a
strike and a lot of rookies are going to be swinging.''
''We were thinking that might be it for the day,'' Varitek said.
Martinez, who has won 12 of his past 14 decisions, gave up two
hits, walked one and struck out four in lowering his major
league-best ERA to 2.23. He is 10-2 with a 1.29 ERA since July 1.
''He can go out there and goof around and make you look sick,''
said Indians third baseman Bill Selby, who had one of the Indians'
two hits off Martinez.
Manny Ramirez hit his 32nd homer, a two-run shot, and Nomar
Garciaparra went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two singles for the
Ramirez, whose average remained at .340, was 1-for-3 and has hit
safely in 31 of his last 36 games.
''Personally, that's as good of a string as I've seen him put
together,'' Little said.
Martinez, in a tight race with teammate Derek Lowe and Oakland's
Barry Zito for his fourth Cy Young Award, only allowed doubles to
Coco Crisp -- the first batter of the game -- and Selby with two outs
in the fifth.
''We got that first double, then -- that's Pedro,'' Cleveland
manager Joel Skinner said.
The game was delayed after Cleveland was retired in the fifth,
and when play resumed Martinez was done for the day.
Ramirez's homer came in a three-run sixth that gave Boston a 6-0
lead. Brian Daubach added a run-scoring single.
The Red Sox took the lead with a three-run fourth against
Ricardo Rodriguez (2-2). With the bases loaded, third baseman Selby
made a diving stop on Lou Merloni's grounder and fired wildly past
first. Merloni was credited with a hit and RBI, and a second run
scored on Selby's error. Shea Hillenbrand's bases-loaded, run-scoring single made it 3-0.
Crisp scored Earl Snyder on a fielder's choice grounder in the
Crisp hit a ground-rule double on third pitch of the game, but
Martinez retired 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced, allowing only
a walk to Selby, before Selby's double.
Martinez and Lowe have 39 combined victories, most in the American League and
second best in the majors behind Arizona's Curt Schilling and Randy
Johnson's 45. ... Rodriguez nearly hit Daubach in the head with a
fastball before he ducked back and the ball grazed his hand. ...
Broussard dropped a flyball in the left-field corner for an error.
... Garciaparra's doubles gives him a career-high 52. ... The game
was a makeup from a June 27 rainout. Paid attendance was a
near-capacity 30,023, though Fenway Park was only about a third