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Martinez Still Not Himself

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

BOSTON — The Toronto Blue Jays knocked Pedro Martinez all over Fenway Park, then still had to come back against Boston's bullpen to win.

Martinez gave up eight runs in the first three innings in Monday's opener, struggling through one of the worst outings of his career. But the Blue Jays had to rally to defeat the Red Sox, 12-11, on Darrin Fletcher's ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

"We hit Pedro," Fletcher said, "but when they came back, we came back."

Martinez spent the off-season rehabilitating his injured right shoulder, which limited him to 18 games and a 7-3 record last season with no victories after May.

The three-time Cy Young winner gained 15 pounds in hopes of avoiding injury and struggled in spring training. But after throwing 83 pitches, more than expected, he said he felt fine.

"I don't regret anything. I did my best and that's all I can do," Martinez said.

His control wasn't as sharp as usual, his curveball didn't break as much and he gave up seven earned runs after giving up only three in going 3-0 in Boston's last four season openers.

Martinez struck out four, walked two and gave up nine hits before leaving after putting the first two batters on base in the fourth.

Carlos Delgado reached base in all six plate appearances for Toronto, going three for three with a walk and twice being hit by pitches. Eric Hinske drove in three runs for the Blue Jays.

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