Pedro Martinez gave the Red Sox more than a victory on Tuesday: He gave them a much-needed break.
Martinez struck out 10 in 8 2/3 innings to lead Boston to a 4-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
In the second game, Mo Vaughn homered to break a seventh-inning tie, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 victory over Texas and a sweep of the doubleheader.
The sweep dropped the Rangers 81/2 games behind the front-running Red Sox in the AL wild-card race.
Martinez (16-4) ate up Texas batters and innings alike, taking a three-hitter into the ninth as Boston beat the Rangers in the opener.
"You've got to get the first out of the way and then go for the second one," he said after beating John Burkett. "I figured that my teammates were going to get to him, so I just had to hold on and keep the battle tight."
Last year's NL Cy Young Award winner stopped a mini-slump by allowing five hits and one walk. In his previous two starts, he was 0-1 while allowing nine earned runs in 13 innings.
The rest of the Red Sox rotation hasn't been any better: They haven't had a complete game in more than a month. No starter has pitched more than 6 1/3 innings since Aug. 8.
"If you have to worry about saving your bullpen all the time, then you're in touble," Boston manager Jimy Williams said.
Williams doesn't have to worry about that now, thanks to a rainout on Monday and Martinez's near-gem in the first game Tuesday.
Gonzalez's 34th homer was his first in seven games and his first RBI in six games. He has 120 this season, a pace that would give him 174, far behind Hack Wilson's record of 190 in 1930.
Coming into the season, Gonzalez had more homers at Fenway Park (15) than at any other road ballpark.
"I like hitting everywhere," he said. "But I feel comfortable here. I probably see the ball better here."
Burkett (7-13) didn't allow a hit until Garciaparra doubled leading off the fifth. Burkett lost a chance at his first shutout of the year when Mike Benjamin singled leading off the sixth, took second on a sacrifice and scored on John Valentin's double.
Vaughn followed with a single and, after Garciaparra lined out, Troy O'Leary singled to score Valentin. Eric Gunderson replaced Burkett, and pinch hitter Damon Buford doubled to make it 4-1.
Burkett allowed four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.
In the nightcap, Luis Alicea and Roberto Kelly hit consecutive home runs to give Texas a 4-2 lead after five. The Red Sox tied it in the sixth on Mike Stanley's RBI double and Jason Varitek's sacrifice fly.
Derek Lowe (3-7) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Bret Saberhagen to win the second game. Danny Patterson (1-5) took the loss after allowing two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Rick Helling.
Tom Gordon earned the saves in both games, giving him 36 this season, and 33 in a row.
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