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Martinez, Red Sox Drop Angles


A pair of rain delays didn't affect Pedro Martinez. It only gave him time to adjust his thinking.

Martinez matched Tom Glavine and David Cone for the major-league lead with 18 victories, allowing one run and seven hits as Boston beat Anaheim 6-1 Saturday.

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  • In lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.67, Martinez (18-4) survived two delays -- the first was 43 minutes in the middle of the fourth and the second lasted six minutes in the middle of the fifth.

    "What got better was changing the plan," said Martinez, who cruised through his final four innings after the initial delay, allowing just one hit.

    "They were on my breaking ball," Martinez said. "I decided to change the plan and go a little harder. Those little breaks helped me a lot."

    John Valentin homered and had an RBI double, and Troy O'Leary hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox, who snapped a two-game losing streak and maintained their eight-game lead over Texas for the AL wild-card berth.

    "It almost seemed like the rain delay helped him," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "He seemed like he got stronger after that."

    Martinez, who established a career-high in wins, walked one and struck out eight in eight innings. His win total is the most for a Red Sox pitcher since Roger Clemens won 18 in 1992.

    "You don't know how he'l come back after the delay," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "Basically, he came out better than he did before the delay."

    The Anaheim hitters, who had six hits and a run in the first three innings, had to be surprised by Martinez's effectiveness.

    "It's tough from a hitters' perspective," Boston catcher Scott Hatteberg said. "You're cold and you've got to face him, and he was on his game."

    Anaheim's lead in the AL West dropped to two games over the Rangers, who beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3.

    The Red Sox scored two runs in the second and three in the third off Jack McDowell (3-3) before the rains came.

    Mike Stanley's sacrifice fly tied it at 1 in the second, and Darren Bragg gave Boston the lead with an RBI double.

    Valentin hit his 17th homer in the third to make it 3-1, and O'Leary added his 22nd to give the Red Sox a four-run lead. Valentin's run-scoring double off Omar Olivares made it 6-1 in the fourth.

    The Angels opened the scoring in the second on Troy Glaus' RBI single.

    McDowell, making his fourth start since spending 2½ months on the disabled list because of a stress reaction in his right elbow, didn't come back after the first delay. He gave up five runs on six hits in three innings.

    Notes

  • Angels center fielder Jim Edmonds left the game in the fourth inning and was taken for precautionary X-rays on his ribs after crashing into a wall twice in the last eight days, according to Collins. He will likely be given Sunday off.
  • The possible playoff opponents are 5-5 in the season series, with the final game Sunday.
  • Gary DiSarcina played his 969th career game, surpassing Bob Boone for fifth place on the Angels' career list.
  • Anaheim's Craig Shipley, currently on the 15-day disabled list, was ejected before the second delay.
  • O'Leary's homers are the most by a Red Sox outfielder since Dwight Evans hit 34 in 1987.

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