Series: Game 4 of 4

Boston won 3-1

Game 1: Monday, August 9
Tampa Bay8Final
Game 2: Tuesday, August 10
Tampa Bay4Final
Game 3: Wednesday, August 11
Tampa Bay4Final
Game 4: Thursday, August 12
Tampa Bay0Final

Devil Rays 0

(54-61, 20-35 away)

Red Sox 6

(63-50, 36-19 home)

1:05 PM ET, August 12, 2004

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

123456789 R H E
TB 000000000 0 6 0
BOS 10202100 - 6 15 0

W: P. Martinez (13-4)

L: M. Hendrickson (8-11)

Martinez fans 10, blanks Devil Rays

BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez likes the hot weather, and his record proves it.

On a sunny afternoon at Fenway Park, he struck out 10 in his first shutout in almost four years and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-0 Thursday for their fifth win in six games.

Martinez improved to 9-1 since losing in Toronto on May 16. He got off to a slow start early this season, when it was still chilly.

"The weather was worse than I have ever faced before. You can't feel the ball," Martinez said. "But as the weather has gone along, I've gotten better. And, hopefully, it can carry over to the end of the season."

With a gametime temperature of 82 degrees, Martinez (13-4) gave up six hits, no walks and did not allow a runner past second base.

"When it heats up, he seems to heat up," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Right now is when we need him to be strong."

Martinez hasn't missed a start all season for the Red Sox, who moved a season-high 13 games over .500 and hold a slim lead in the AL wild-card race with 49 games left.

"He's not the power guy he used to be but he pitches," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "He was in full control out there."

Martinez threw 109 pitches in his 42nd career complete game and first since last Sept. 16 against Tampa Bay. His 16th shutout was his first since he beat the Devil Rays 8-0 on Aug. 29, 2000.

He also passed Bob Feller and Warren Spahn for 21st place in career strikeouts with 2,590.

"I don't pay attention to those numbers, but it's always great to find out," said Martinez, who lowered his ERA from 3.94 to 3.72.

He struck out at least 10 for the third straight game, fourth this year and 97th time in his career, tying Sandy Koufax for fourth place on the all-time list.

Carl Crawford led off the game with a single and went to second on a sacrifice before the next two batters grounded out. In the fifth, Julio Lugo singled and Aubrey Huff was hit by a pitch with none out, but Rocco Baldelli popped out, Tino Martinez struck out and Jose Cruz Jr. flied out.

In the ninth, Huff led off with a double but was stranded when Martinez retired the next three batters, ending the game by striking out Cruz.

"First and second, man on second in the ninth, what's the difference?" Piniella said.

Martinez got plenty of support as the Red Sox had 15 hits for the second straight game. On Wednesday night, they beat Tampa Bay 14-4. On Thursday, every starter had at least one hit.

David Ortiz and Bill Mueller each had three hits and Ortiz had two RBI, giving him a career-high 102. He had 101 last season.

Boston took a 5-0 lead with two runs in a bizarre fifth inning. The last five batters got hits but two were thrown out at the plate by Baldelli, who leads AL center fielders with nine assists.

Kevin Youkilis grounded out leading off the inning before Boston put runners at first and second on singles by Manny Ramirez and Ortiz. Kevin Millar's double scored Ramirez and sent Ortiz to third.

Then Baldelli's strong arm got two runners at home on consecutive batters. Jason Varitek's single scored Ortiz, but the slow-footed Millar was thrown out at the plate.

Orlando Cabrera singled and, again, third-base coach Dale Sveum waved the runner home. But Baldelli's throw beat Varitek to the plate.

"They were both perfect throws," Sveum said. "If you have a lead, you're more likely to send (runners) than when you're three runs behind."

In the sixth, Sveum held three runners at third and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Only Mueller, who doubled, scored when Ortiz singled him home.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first against Mark Hendrickson (8-11) on Youkilis' seventh homer of the season.

"Every inning was kind of a battle," Hendrickson said after allowing five runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Boston added two runs in the third on RBI singles by Gabe Kapler and Ortiz.

Game notes

Baldelli is 0-for-15 against Martinez after getting his first major league hit off him, a double on opening day last year. ... RHP Scott Williamson went to Cincinnati, where he played before coming to Boston last year, for a second opinion on his sore right forearm. Williamson, on the disabled list since July 25, was to be checked by Reds medical director Timothy Kremchek. ... Boston CF Johnny Damon received his first day off after playing in 18 consecutive games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press