Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 3-0 (as of 9/11)

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Boston 12Final
Tampa Bay 1
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3
Game 4: Thursday, September 12
Boston 6Final
Tampa Bay 3

Red Sox 6

(82-62, 45-28 away)

Devil Rays 3

(48-97, 26-48 home)

    7:15 PM ET, September 11, 2002

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 000050001 6 - -
    TB 020001000 3 - -

    W: P. Martinez (18-4)

    L: P. Wilson (6-10)

    S: U. Urbina (33)

    Martinez, Ramirez overpower Devil Rays in win

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Pedro Martinez gave Boston a big lift.

    Pedro Martinez

    Martinez got his 150th career win as he rejoined Boston's rotation, and Manny Ramirez hit his 15th career grand slam as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-3 Wednesday night.

    Martinez (18-4), sidelined since Aug. 28 by a sore left groin and hip, gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings.

    "It was a very gutsy performance by Pedro,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "It was very impressive.''

    Martinez struck out eight and walked two, helping Boston improve to 13-2 against the Devil Rays this season. The right-hander admitted he thought about winning another Cy Young Award, but it's not a top priority right now.

    "Health is first. The team is first. And getting into contention is first,'' Martinez said. "I feel confident enough that I might be able to make the last three or four starts I have left.''

    Ramirez hit 29th homer, and third in as many games, during a five-run fifth. He has eight homers and 24 RBI against Tampa Bay this season.

    Ugueth Urbina got three straight outs for his 33rd save in 38 chances. Boston began the night 7½ games behind the Anaheim Angels -- who played later Wednesday -- in the AL wild-card race.

    John Flaherty homered and had three RBI for the Devil Rays, hitting a two-run homer in the second. He had gone 182 at-bats without a homer since going deep against Oakland 20-game winner Barry Zito on June 1. His other two homers this season came off Seattle's Freddy Garcia and Joel Pineiro.

    "Fortunately for me, I got some fastballs to hit,'' Flaherty said. "I can't hit his slider and his changeup if I was looking for it. I look for his heater, and I hope that he gives me one to hit. Tonight he did.''

    The Devil Rays, at 48-97, are three losses from becoming the first team with consecutive 100-loss seasons since the 1977-79 Toronto Blue Jays.

    Ramirez struck out in two earlier at-bats against Paul Wilson (6-10) before putting the Red Sox ahead 4-2 with his first grand slam since Aug. 19, 2001. Ramirez thrust his right arm into the air as he headed down the first-base line.

    Ramirez declined comment after the game. He did say through a team spokesman that "it felt good too help the team win.''

    "I'm playing hard. I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team.''

    Brian Daubach's RBI single later in the fifth made it 5-2.

    Wilson allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

    Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff went 0-for-4, ending his career-high 17-game hitting streak.

    There were no batters hit by pitches. The closest came in the seventh when Boston's Cliff Floyd hit the dirt on a high-and-tight, 2-2 pitch from Wilson Alvarez. Floyd added an RBI single in the ninth.

    A pitcher had been ejected in the each of the first two games in the series after hitting a batter with a pitch.

    Game notes

    A ball thrown from the stands landed near the mound while Martinez was pitching. It bounced harmlessly toward the left side of the infield. "I wondered, why me?'' Martinez said. ... U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks was part of a pregame program marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. "I'm so proud of you because you represent the spirit of a great nation,'' Franks told the crowd of 12,415. "You represent the support that all of us need to finish the job. And we will finish the job.'' ... Franks placed the ceremonial first pitch ball on the pitching rubber next to a red rose in honor of those killed. ... Umpire Bruce Dreckman missed the game because of a back injury. He was replaced by Matt Hollowell. ... Only New York Yankees 3B Robin Ventura, with 16, has more grand slams than Ramirez among active players.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press