It wasn't vintage Pedro Martinez, but the lean Boston Red Sox right-hander was still good enough to get a win.
Martinez earned his first victory since July 2 and the 100th of his big-league career Sunday night, pitching five effective innings as the Red Sox beat the Anaheim Angels 9-3.
"I didn't do anything special, you should be talking to my teammates," Martinez said. "I'm a little bit off on everything. My fastball was good, it's just a matter of controlling it."
He walked three, struck out five and became the majors' first 16-game winner as well as reaching 100 for his career. He preceded Houston's Mike Hampton, the NL's first 16-game winner, by several minutes.
"I didn't know until the previous outing," the 27-year-old Martinez said of being so close to 100 wins. "Today I was thinking about it. I'm not a big fan of milestones. If it is an occasion, I'll keep the ball. I'll keep this one, it's 100."
Martinez, who said he didn't feel pain, was lifted after throwing 99 pitches, 61 of them strikes.
"Today was more mechanical than anything," he said. "That's the way I expected to feel the first time out. It doesn't feel comfortable, but I'm trying my best. "
Martinez was especially shaky in the first inning, needing 28 pitches including 11 to Gary DiSarcina, who fouled off five full-count pitches before drawing a walk. DiSarcina later scored Anaheim's first run.
Martinez, who also leads the AL in ERA (2.46) and strikeouts (199), has a 100-49 career record. He went on the disabled list after being shelled for 12 hits and seven earned runs in 3 2-3 innings by Florida on July 18. H was the winning pitcher in the All-Star game five days earlier, striking out five in two innings.
"He threw some pitches out there, but he really competed," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said. "He made pitches when he had to. That kind of game kind of tells you what kind of a pitcher he is."
Martinez returned to action last Tuesday, allowing three hits and one run in five innings against Cleveland. He wasn't involved in the decision.
"If he'd been throwing the way he was a month ago, with the twilight and all, the first five innings would have gone by pretty fast," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "But the one thing he still did, when he has to bear down, he does. He went from 90 (mph) to 94 just like that. But he's been better, sharper, sure."
Troy O'Leary had three hits, including a home run, for the Red Sox, who beat Anaheim for the third straight day and handed the reeling Angels their 19th loss in 23 games.
The Angels got a run off Martinez in the bottom of the inning on Tim Salmon's two-out, RBI single.
McDowell, a loser in all four of his starts this year, allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings of what could be his final appearance in an Anaheim uniform.
Collins said after the game McDowell might not make his next start, and the former AL Cy Young Award winner confirmed that shortly thereafter. "I probably won't get the ball anymore. Everything's been decided. You'll find out tomorrow."
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