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Wow Pedro! Red Sox Win

Pedro Martinez returned to All-Star form Tuesday night.

Martinez struck out 15 in eight innings for his best start in nearly two months and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1.

Martinez (18-4), who had won only one of his past five starts, broke Roger Clemens' 11-year-old club record with his 13th double-figure strikeout performance of the season.

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Game Summary

Baseball features:

  • MLB's Honor Roll
  • Who's Sizzlin' and Fizzlin'
  • Martinez tops the majors in wins and leads the AL with 231 strikeouts.

    "I hit my spots tonight," Martinez said. "If you've got the pitches it takes to put them away, you just go ahead and do it. I had the pitches tonight and I just tried to minimize them."

    Martinez allowed four hits and an unearned run. He walked one.

    The MVP of last month's All-Star game at Fenway Park, Martinez was 2-2 with an 4.74 ERA in the second half, including his first stint on the disabled list in his career.

    His return from the DL has been clouded by missing a start when he arrived only 25 minutes before a game and by a tirade he directed at Red Sox management before his last start.

    This was Martinez's strongest outing since striking out 16 in a 3-1 complete-game win against Atlanta on June 4. During one stretch Tuesday, he struck out eight of nine hitters.

    "That was the most dominating thing I've ever seen in my life, bar none," the Twins' Chad Allen said. "His fastball was just exploding. I had no clue."

    Allen, who struck out twice, actually left the plate smiling after Martinez fanned him on a curveball that started right at him and broke sharply over the plate for a called third strike.

    "He's probably the best pitcher in the American League," Allen said. "This guy is just so above the rest. And that's not to say anything bad about te others."

    Martinez didn't allow a runner past first base until the sixth inning, when Jacque Jones struck out but reached third base when catcher Jason Varitek dropped the ball and threw wildly to first. Jones then scored the Twins' only run on Denny Hocking's groundout.

    "Pedro had a great feel for the game," Varitek said. "He put the pitches where he wanted to. He got ahead of the hitters right away, and he got ahead of them with different pitches."

    Martinez, who threw 108 pitches, got offensive support from Donnie Sadler and Jason Varitek, who drove in two runs apiece.

    Jason Ryan (0-1) gave up four runs three earned and four hits in 4 1-3 innings in his major league debut. Ryan struck out four but walked six and got no help from his defense.

    After Troy O'Leary walked to start the second inning, Mike Stanley hit a grounder to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who was standing near the bag. Mientkiewicz threw the ball into left field for an error.

    One out later, Sadler singled home O'Leary and consecutive passed balls by catcher Terry Steinbach scored Stanley.

    Nomar Garciaparra led off the fifth with a walk and Stanley doubled him to third, chasing Ryan. Varitek greeted reliever Dan Perkins with a two-run double and scored on Sadler's single.

    Ryan admitted to being nervous for his debut.

    "I was wild, and I was rushing it a bit," Ryan said. "This happened in my first time in Triple-A, too. I just have to go out and relax a little more next time."

    Trot Nixon's 10th homer of the year, a solo shot off Perkins, made it 7-1 in the eighth.


  • John Valentin was a late scratch for Boston because of a sore left knee, which he said he aggravated playing on artificial turf. Sadler replaced him at third base.
  • Every Twins starter except Hocking struck out at least once.
  • Garciaparra's third-inning single broke an 0-for-10 drought.
  • Sadler's RBI in the second inning was his first in 71 at-bats
  • The Twins have lost six straight to the Red Sox.
  • Martinez has struck out 10 or more 48 times, 21 times with Boston.
  • The Twins struck out a season-high 16 times in the game.

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