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Martinez Pitches Red Sox to Sweep

September 09, 2004|From Associated Press

Pedro Martinez hardly had to outpitch Tim Hudson -- Oakland's All-Star right-hander staked Boston to a huge lead himself.

Martinez gave up two hits in six innings to win his third consecutive start, and the surging Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics, 8-3, Wednesday night at Oakland.

Boston, which has won 14 of 15 and 26 of 31, pulled within two games of the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East for the first time since before play June 3.

Despite their first four-game losing streak since early July, the AL West-leading A's maintained a 1 1/2 -game division lead over the Angels.

Martinez (16-5) improved to 5-1 with a 1.25 earned-run average in seven regular-season starts in Oakland, and Hudson lost for the first time in 10 home starts this year. He lasted only three innings, giving up seven runs, six hits and a season-high five walks.

David Ortiz hit a two-run single in the first inning for Boston, which is 8-1 this year against Oakland, the team it beat in last season's division series.

The A's loaded the bases against Terry Adams with three consecutive two-out singles in the ninth, then Bobby Kielty drew a full-count walk to force in a run.

Keith Foulke, Oakland's closer last season, came in and got Billy McMillon to line out for the final out. It was Foulke's 28th save in 33 chances.

A season-high four-start winning streak ended in frustration for Hudson (11-5). He began the game with three full-count walks -- he hadn't given up more than two walks in a game since coming off the disabled list Aug. 7.

It took him 26 pitches to get his first out and 38 to finish the inning. He matched his season-high with four walks in the first inning.

Minnesota 9, Baltimore 0 -- Johan Santana gave up five hits in seven innings, and Matt LeCroy homered in a seven-run second inning at Baltimore.

Santana (17-6), who has won 10 in a row, struck out nine and walked none before leaving with a 9-0 lead. He has won 10 in a row, is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 11 and has a 1.38 ERA since the All-Star break.

The Orioles sold 19,358 tickets for the game, but because rain swept through the area during the day and continued into the early evening, only a few thousand people showed up at Camden Yards.

"I was trying to work quick, because in the third inning I saw a little rain coming and I don't want the game to stay like that and be gone, and not get a chance to win," Santana said.

Cleveland 9, Seattle 5 -- Ronnie Belliard hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to help lift the Indians at Seattle.

Mariner outfielder Ichiro Suzuki had one hit in five at-bats to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and moved within 30 hits of tying George Sisler's major league season record of 257.

Suzuki has 24 games remaining to tie Sisler's mark, established in 1920 with the St. Louis Browns.

Chicago 5, Texas 2 -- Carlos Lee hit a tiebreaking single in a four-run sixth at Arlington, Texas, and Freddy Garcia (11-10) gave up one run and three hits in five innings in his first start in more than two weeks.

Ben Davis homered, and Timo Perez hit a two-run double for the White Sox, who have won five of six.

Tampa Bay at New York, ppd. -- The doubleheader was postponed because of rain. One of the games will be made up today in a doubleheader. This is the Devil Rays' last scheduled trip to New York this season.

Kansas City at Detroit, ppd. -- Rain forced the game to be postponed. The teams will play a doubleheader today.

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