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Martinez Smashing in Fenway Debut

From Associated Press

New league, same spectacular Pedro Martinez.

With fans waving flags of his native Dominican Republic and the Seattle Mariners waving their bats, Martinez struck out 12 and allowed only two singles in the Boston Red Sox’s 5-0 victory Saturday.

“It’s not like this guy did something different. He’s done this every time I’ve seen him,” Boston catcher Scott Hatteberg said. “He was almost perfect.”

Martinez (2-0) has been outstanding in each of his three games since an off-season trade brought him from Montreal, where he won last year’s NL Cy Young Award with a 17-8 record and 1.90 earned-run average.

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In 23 innings, he has allowed one earned run for an ERA of 0.39, has struck out 32, allowed only 12 hits and walked only seven.

“I expect it. I work hard,” Martinez said after his first complete game of the year. “I’m expecting something better next time.”

That won’t be easy. On Saturday, in his first home game with the Red Sox, he faced 30 batters, only three above the minimum, and walked two. Only 15 hit the ball in fair territory and only six got it out of the infield as he baffled some of the best hitters in one of baseball’s toughest lineups.

Jim Leyritz’s three RBIs on a double and a two-run homer were more than enough as Martinez allowed only singles to Joey Cora in the fourth inning and Alex Rodriguez in the sixth. He retired the last 10 batters, five on strikeouts and finishing with Ken Griffey Jr.'s weak popup to first base.

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Toronto 9, Texas 8--Jose Canseco hit his AL-leading fifth home run of the season, all against the Rangers, as the Blue Jays prevailed at Arlington, Texas.

Canseco’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run first inning for Toronto, which finished with 13 hits. Every Blue Jay starter either scored a run or drove one in.

Texas cut Toronto’s lead to 9-8 in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Juan Gonzalez, but Paul Quantrill struck out Will Clark with runners on first and second to end the inning.

Randy Myers struck out Roberto Kelly with men on first and second in the bottom of the ninth for his 37th consecutive save, one short of the major league record set by Cleveland’s Jose Mesa in 1995. Myers had 34 consecutive saves for Baltimore last season, and has three straight for Toronto this year.

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Carlos Almanzar (1-0), called up from triple-A Syracuse on Friday, got the victory, giving up two hits in two innings. Darren Oliver (0-2) was the loser.

Minnesota 8, Kansas Ciy 3--Rookie Eric Milton beat the Royals for the second time this week and Paul Molitor homered and drove in two runs as the Twins won at Kansas City, Mo.

Milton, a 22-year-old left-hander acquired from New York in the Chuck Knoblauch deal, allowed six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He has given up 12 hits in 12 2/3 innings against the Royals.

Tim Belcher (1-1) gave up six hits and five runs in four innings.

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Molitor homered with two outs in the first and the Twins added three runs in the third on his single and Marty Cordova’s two-run double.

After the Royals closed to 4-1, the Twins added runs in the fourth and fifth on Pat Meares’ sacrifice fly and Orlando Merced’s homer.

The Twins made it 8-2 in the eighth when Marty Cordova scored after Pat Meares hit a liner that center fielder Johnny Damon turned into a force at second. Otis Nixon singled in the other run.

Baltimore 2, Detroit 0--Mike Mussina allowed only two hits in eight innings and earned his 1,000th career strikeout in leading the Orioles to a victory over the Tigers at Detroit.

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Mussina (2-1) struck out nine and walked two--his first in 23 innings this season. The right-hander overpowered the Tigers, allowing only a single in the second and fourth innings.

Armando Benitez walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth before getting his third save.

It was an old story of nonsupport for Justin Thompson (1-2), who was 15-11 last season. The Tigers produced only 13 runs in those 11 losses.

Tampa Bay 5, Chicago 1--Rich Gorecki (1-1) gave up three hits over seven innings to lead the Devil Rays to victory at Chicago.

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Kevin Stocker hit a solo homer and Bobby Smith added a two-run single for the Devil Rays, who posted their first road victory.

With the victory, Tampa Bay (5-4) matched the best nine-game record by a first-year expansion club, tying the 1962 Houston Colt .45s, the 1969 Kansas City Royals and 1977 Toronto Blue Jays.

Gorecki, appearing in only his sixth major league game and third career start, gave up singles to the first two hitters he faced, Mike Cameron and Ray Durham, and a leadoff double to Albert Belle in the seventh. He struck out five and walked three.

Jim Mecir gave up one hit in the eighth and former White Sox closer Roberto Hernandez pitched a scoreless ninth for Tampa Bay.

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Jason Bere (0-2) took the loss, giving up six hits and walking five in 4 2/3 innings.

Belle finished one for four and is batting .133 (four for 30). He batted .206 last April.


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