Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Boston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 8
Boston10Final
Baltimore13
Game 2: Tuesday, September 9
Boston9Final
Baltimore2
Game 3: Wednesday, September 10
Boston5Final
Baltimore0

Red Sox 5

(85-60, 39-36 away)

Orioles 0

(66-79, 38-36 home)

3:05 PM ET, September 10, 2003

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

123456789 R H E
BOS 300000101 5 11 0
BAL 000000000 0 3 0

W: P. Martinez (12-4)

L: J. Johnson (10-7)

Martinez allows just three hits in eight innings

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Kevin Millar did the math. By his calculation, giving Pedro Martinez a three-run lead before he walked to the mound added up to a victory for the Boston Red Sox.

"Pedro's got a two-something ERA, so we know we score three we've got a good chance to win," Millar said. "This guy's been phenomenal for us."

Martinez allowed three hits over eight innings and Millar had two RBI in a three-run first inning as the Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 Wednesday.

Boston got the only run it needed when No. 5 hitter David Ortiz drew a bases-loaded walk from Jason Johnson in the top of the first. Millar followed with a two-run single, and at that point the Red Sox might as well have started packing their bags after a 7-2 road trip.

"It set the tone," Boston manager Grady Little said. "We came out and got after it pretty good there."

The three-run cushion proved to be more than enough.

"It was an uphill struggle the whole way," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "Once we got behind 3-0, we knew that we were going to have play near perfect baseball the way just to have a chance."

It was Martinez who was near perfect. The right-hander allowed only five runners, none of whom advanced past second base.

"He had command of his pitches all day long. He was just outstanding," Little said.

Johnny Damon had three hits and scored twice for the Red Sox, who took two of three from the Orioles to close out an impressive road trip than included two wins in three games against the New York Yankees.

"When we get on the plane this evening," Little said, "I'm sure there's not going to be much thought about those two losses. We're going to think about how successful this road trip was. We're going home on a good note."

Boston is 3{ games behind New York in the AL East and the Red Sox entered Wednesday two games ahead of Seattle in the AL wild-card race.

Martinez (12-4) struck out nine and walked two in lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.36 and taking over the strikeout lead with 187. He gave up singles to Geronimo Gil in the third and eighth innings, and a double to Larry Bigbie in the seventh.

"He's just a very special pitcher," Hargrove said. "I don't know if there's anyone in the game better than he is."

Martinez, 5-1 with a 1.05 ERA in nine career appearances at Camden Yards, has only two losses in his last 18 starts since May 15. He walked off the mound in the eighth inning and pointed skyward as many in the crowd of 25,143 cheered his effort.

He refused to talk with reporters after the game.

Alan Embree worked a perfect ninth, completing the three-hitter.

Martinez outpitched Johnson (10-7), who performed well after yielding three first-inning runs. Johnson is 0-2 since in six starts since beating Boston on Aug. 10.

"When I put our team in a hole after one inning, it's tough to come back against anybody, let alone Pedro," Johnson said.

Johnson gave up four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.

The Orioles' lone flurry against Martinez came in the third, when Gil led off with a single and Tim Raines walked. But Jerry Hairston struck out and Luis Matos hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

Boston got only one runner past first base in the second through sixth innings, but went up 4-0 in the seventh. Damon hit a one-out single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Nomar Garciaparra.

Damon led off the ninth with a single off Kerry Ligtenberg and came home on a two-out single by Manny Ramirez.

Game notes


The Red Sox played without OF Trot Nixon, who strained his left calf Tuesday and is day to day. ... Gil, recalled from Triple-A Ottawa on Tuesday, got his first start with Baltimore since July 11. ... Boston improved to 7-8 against Baltimore this season. ... Ramirez extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games, five short of his career high. ... Hairston was 8-for-20 against Martinez before going 0-for-4.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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