For Red Sox’s Martinez, a Point Well-Made
Mike Hargrove found out the hard way how good Pedro Martinez is as a starter.
Martinez, who chose not to pitch in the All-Star game after American League and Cleveland Manager Hargrove picked David Wells to start, pitched a four-hitter to outduel Bartolo Colon in a matchup of All-Star pitchers as the Boston Red Sox beat the Indians, 1-0, Wednesday night at Boston.
Both pitchers had complete games, and the only run Martinez (12-3) needed was a fifth-inning home run by seldom-used Midre Cummings.
“If what I’ve done in the past is not enough to start an All-Star game, that’s OK,” Martinez said. “There’s no feud. I respect him. He’s a good manager.”
Martinez said that rather than pitch one inning in relief July 7 against the National League in Colorado, where he was afraid the thin air might affect his mechanics, he preferred to rest and start the second half of the season strongly.
He has done that with complete games in his two starts since the All-Star break.
“He’s getting in a real nice groove,” Boston catcher Scott Hatteberg said. “He had a good fastball from inning one to inning nine. He gets in a groove where he’s in total command of every at-bat.”
Martinez struck out nine and walked two in his second shutout this season and third complete game as he improved to 6-1 in his last seven starts.
Colon (9-5) wasn’t much worse as he tied Baltimore’s Scott Erickson for the league lead with six complete games. Colon gave up seven hits in eight innings after going 5-0 in his six previous starts.
“He feels he did a good job, too,” said bullpen coach Luis Isaac, translating for Colon, who was the winning pitcher in the All-Star game. “But he made a mistake and had to pay for his mistake.”
Cummings, batting ninth in his first start in six games as a replacement for injured designated hitter Reggie Jefferson, led off the fifth with his third homer, breaking an 0-for-11 slump.
“I never thought my home run was going to hold up because Cleveland has some offensive power,” Cummings said. “I was hoping Pedro would stay sharp but I didn’t think it would be 1-0.”
The Indians’ hits were all singles, ending a streak of 137 games dating back to last Aug. 13 in which they had at least one extra-base hit.
Chicago 9-5, Toronto 3-2--The radar guns clocked Dave Stieb’s fastball at 90 mph, but Albert Belle spoiled Stieb’s first major league start since 1993 by leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-2 victory and a doubleheader sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the first game, Belle, Robin Ventura and Ray Durham each homered to support Jaime Navarro in a 9-3 White Sox victory. Chicago has won four in a row for the first time this season.
Belle hit a two-run homer in both games of the doubleheader. His homer in the second game was his ninth in his last eight games and the 299th of his career.
In the second game, rookie Mike Caruso hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with two out in the fifth to give the White Sox their sixth victory in seven games.
Stieb served up both homers among his 105 pitches.
Belle connected for a two-run homer in the first inning of the second game, his 27th. In the opener, he hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
It is Belle’s hottest stretch since he hit 10 home runs in seven games from Sept. 18-27, 1995, while with Cleveland.
“When he gets hot, nobody can stop him,” Navarro said.
Carlos Castillo (4-4) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings in his second start and longest outing of the season.
New York 11, Detroit 1--Hideki Irabu pitched eight strong innings and the Yankees hit three home runs in the eighth inning in the rout at Detroit.
Chuck Knoblauch hit a three-run homer, Jorge Posada hit a two-run drive and Paul O’Neill had a solo shot in the eighth against reliever Doug Bochtler.
Three pitches after O’Neill homered, rookie reliever Dean Crow hit Tino Martinez in the hip with a pitch. Martinez went peacefully to first base and was replaced by a pinch-runner, but glared at Crow from the dugout.
Knoblauch drove in four runs and O’Neill and Posada were three for five as the Yankees won for the 12th time in 13 games. Ricky Ledee and Tim Raines added RBI doubles.
New York is 6-1 on its 11-game trip and leads the majors with a 34-15 road record. At 67-21, the Yankees matched the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates for the best 88-game record for any team this century.
Irabu (8-3), who didn’t last more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his last four starts, gave up five hits. He struck out one and walked three in winning his second consecutive decision.
Seattle 4, Minnesota 1--Jamie Moyer gave up one run over eight strong innings and Dan Wilson and Edgar Martinez homered in the sixth at Seattle to lead the Mariners to their third consecutive victory.
Moyer (6-7) scattered four singles with two walks and a strikeout to improve to 3-3 lifetime against the Twins. He retired 11 of his last 12 batters and has given up only four earned runs over 49 innings in his six victories.
Mike Timlin, who has given up only one earned run over his last 20 innings, tossed a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in eight chances.
Kansas City 5, Oakland 1--Jose Rosado matched a career-high with nine strikeouts and Jeff King homered as the Royals won at Oakland.
Rosado (4-7) allowed one run and two hits--both by Rickey Henderson--in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander also struck out nine when he got a no-decision at Toronto last July.
Tom Candiotti (5-11) lost for the seventh time in his last eight decisions, giving up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Kansas City broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fifth. Mike Sweeney doubled and Mendy Lopez bounced a slow roller to short that Miguel Tejada tried to bare-hand and missed for an RBI double. Jose Offerman added a run-scoring single.
Rosado retired the first seven batters he faced before walking Ryan Christenson. One out later, Henderson doubled and Christenson scored from first to tie the score, 1-1.
But the Royals’ pitchers prevented the A’s from capitalizing on other scoring chances.