Pedro Martinez pitched his first complete game of the season and benefited from a seven-run sixth inning as the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 9-1, Saturday.
“That is one of the best games I have ever seen the guy pitch,” Boston Manager Grady Little said. “That ball was darting everywhere.”
Martinez (3-1) struck out 12, walked none and gave up five hits in his 39th complete game. He gave up one earned run or fewer for the fifth time in seven starts.
Without the worst start of his career -- 10 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against Baltimore and booing from Fenway Park fans-- he has yielded four earned runs in 45 innings, a 0.80 earned-run average, this season.
But he began the game with the lowest run support among Red Sox starters and led only 2-1 before the seven-run sixth, capped by former Twin David Ortiz’s three-run double.
Martinez might have five wins if relievers hadn’t blown leads in two games. But the bullpen, which squandered a 6-5 lead in the Twins’ 11-7 win Friday night, wasn’t needed because Martinez threw only 108 pitches.
Martinez, who continued his postgame ban on interviews, went to three balls on only four batters and had an efficient stretch when he threw only nine pitches in the fifth, eight in the sixth and six in the seventh.
Twin starter Rick Reed left the game with the score 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning after straining his lower back.