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

"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

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

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

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

"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.