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Martinez improves to 11-0 lifetime against Seattle

8/16/2003

SEATTLE (AP) -- Pedro Martinez owns the Seattle Mariners, even if
he won't say so.

Martinez extended his dominance of the Mariners, pitching
three-hit ball for seven innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a
5-1 victory Saturday. He improved to 11-0 lifetime against Seattle,
his most wins against any team.

"A lot of things have to go right for anybody to win that many
games," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. "Your team has to hit,
and you've seen us when we don't hit for him. It just happens to be
circumstantial."

Martinez (9-3) declined interviews afterward, something he's
done often since the All-Star break. It wasn't because he was
unable to express himself, according to Red Sox manager Grady
Little.

"He does a lot of chirping when he's sitting on the bench,
watching a game, or watching it on TV in the clubhouse," Little
said. "He does a lot of talking, but all the time he's watching
hitters' approaches.

"They change, and he changes, too."

Martinez allowed one run with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Kevin Millar hit a solo homer and drove in two runs, while Bill
Mueller added three singles as the Red Sox maintained a one-game
lead over Oakland in the AL wild card race.

Seattle's lead over the Athletics in the AL West was reduced to
four games because Oakland beat Toronto.

Scott Williamson worked a scoreless eighth. Byung-Hyun Kim
struck out two in the ninth, finishing the five-hitter.

With Martinez in control, the outcome swung on a 12-pitch at-bat
by Mueller in the third. Seattle starter Joel Pineiro (13-8), who
lost his third straight, worked through a 41-pitch inning.

After Damian Jackson singled, Mueller fouled off six two-strike
pitches before lining a single to left. David Ortiz hit a two-run
double, and Millar brought him across with a sacrifice fly to make
it 4-1.

"The turning point was Bill Mueller's at-bat," Varitek said.
"It was phenomenal. It ends with a basehit and guys at first and
third. It enabled us to get a big inning."

It seemed like Martinez's day before the first pitch. He brought
a 0.94 ERA against the Mariners into the game, and he's trailed
against Seattle only once -- for one inning on May 12, 2002.

In that game, the Red Sox responded with four runs to erase a
1-0 deficit and went on to win 10-4.

It was a similar script this time.

Seattle led 1-0 in the first after Ichiro Suzuki drew a leadoff
walk and scored on Randy Winn's sacrifice fly, but Millar tied it
in the second with a home run that curled around the left-field
foul pole.

By then, Martinez was in control. Every time the Mariners
threatened, he turned them back.

"He's the best," Millar said. "He's got a great changeup, a
great breaking ball, and he throws 95 when he needs it. The guy
makes good pitches, and there isn't a lot on the plate."

Seattle had runners on first and third with one out in the
third, but Martinez struck out Rey Sanchez on a check-swing. Suzuki
stole second base, but Martinez got Winn swinging.

"Early on there were some cutters, plus his fastball and
changeup," Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. "Then he started
throwing his breaking ball and got a big strikeout of Randy with,
probably, the first breaking ball he threw."

Martinez mixed it up through the fifth. He allowed a one-out
triple by Dan Wilson but came back to strike out Willie Bloomquist
on a high fastball. He walked Suzuki but got Sanchez swinging
again.

"Once he gets into a rhythm and starts changing his pattern,
he's tough to deal with," Melvin said.

The Red Sox also got the benefit of a disputed call in the
sixth.

Boston had runners on first and third and one out when Todd
Walker grounded to first baseman John Olerud to start an apparent
double play. Gabe Kapler was forced out at second, but first base
umpire Jerry Meals ruled Pineiro didn't touch the base as he took
the return throw.

Millar, who reached on a leadoff single, scored to make it 5-1.

Replays showed Pineiro had not just one foot but two on the bag.
Melvin ran from of the dugout to object, and it wasn't long before
the rookie skipper had his first bona fide ejection.

"It looked like Joel tripped over the base and he said he
straddled it," Melvin said. "If he tripped over it, I don't know
how he could have straddled it. Then it looked like the runner
missed it."

Game notes
Boston SS Nomar Garciaparra was scratched because of spasms
in his left lower back. He's day-to-day. ... Seattle RHP Brian
Sweeney made his major league debut in the sixth. ... Martinez is
32-4 lifetime against the AL West, including 17-3 on the road. ...
Melvin got an automatic ejection July 17 at Kansas City when RHP
Rafael Soriano hit a batter with a pitch after warnings were issued
to both benches.