Pedro Martinez left after four innings on Monday night with right shoulder stiffness his shortest outing since he was injured in the 1999 playoffs.
The Red Sox ace struck out the side in the first inning and fanned two more in the second against Tampa Bay. But in the third, he allowed Miguel Cairo's first homer in more than a year a three-run shot that gave the Devil Rays a 3-0 lead.
Martinez allowed six hits in all, walking none and striking out six. Hipolito Pichardo came on to start the fifth.
Martinez lasted four innings in Game 1 of Boston's the first-round playoff series against Cleveland before leaving with shoulder stiffness, but he returned to throw six no-hit innings of relief in Game 5.
He lasted just 3 2-3 innings on July 18, 1999, against he Florida Marlins, allowing nine runs seven earned and 12 hits. He went on the disabled list after the game.
It was his first outing after the All-Star game, when he struck out five of six batters and was voted MVP.