Series: Game 2 of 4

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 9/16)

Game 1: Monday, September 15
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Game 2: Tuesday, September 16
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Game 3: Wednesday, September 17
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Game 4: Thursday, September 18
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Devil Rays 2

(59-91, 25-50 away)

Red Sox 3

(88-62, 49-26 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 16, 2003

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

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    TB 000000011 2 6 0
    BOS 00100002 - 3 5 0

    W: P. Martinez (13-4)

    L: T. Harper (4-8)

    Ortiz drives in go-ahead run in the eighth

    BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez was heading to the mound for the ninth inning when he hugged the teammate who had just given him the lead.

    The Red Sox ace was thankful for David Ortiz's tie-breaking single in the two-run eighth, and Ortiz had no doubt Martinez would finish Boston's 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday night.

    "I wasn't surprised," Ortiz said. "This guy, he's a soldier, and you've got to beat him up big time for him to give up."

    Martinez (13-4) pitched a six-hitter in his third complete game of the season. But he battled out of several jams and left the potential tying run at second in the ninth when Julio Lugo popped out to second baseman Damian Jackson. That secured Martinez's 100th win in six seasons with Boston.

    "He did an awesome job," said catcher Jason Varitek, who knew Martinez would stay in even when manager Grady Little went to the mound before Lugo came up.

    "Petey wasn't about to give up the ball even if he asked for it," Varitek said. "(Little) was just coming out there to give him a moment to gain his thoughts and to finish his game."

    Martinez struck out six and allowed one walk in his third win in 12 days.

    The Red Sox, who won their third straight, took a 2{-game lead in the wild-card race over Seattle, which lost to Texas, and stayed 5{ games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.

    Martinez allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in four innings and stranded runners at third in the sixth and seventh.

    "Truthfully, I thought Pedro was hittable. I've seen him have better stuff," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "He made pitches when he had to. He has the confidence to make them."

    The Red Sox, the best hitting team in the majors, got only five hits but they came at critical times.

    Todd Walker singled in a run for Boston in the third and Al Martin tied it with a run-scoring, pinch-hit single in the eighth that ended Martinez's scoreless streak at 15 innings.

    The Red Sox scored the go-ahead runs in the eighth as Nomar Garciaparra hit a leadoff double off Travis Harper (4-8). He took third on Walker's groundout before Manny Ramirez was walked intentionally.

    "It pumped me up," Ortiz said. "They know I'm not the fastest guy so I can hit a groundball for a double play, especially against a lefty. But I tell myself I have to be patient.'

    Lefty Joe Kennedy came in to face lefty Ortiz and threw three straight balls. He came back with two strikes before Ortiz lined a single to right that scored Garciaparra and sent Ramirez to third.

    Adrian Brown ran for Ramirez and scored on Bill Mueller's sacrifice fly. That became critical when Tampa Bay scored in the ninth on a two-out single by Marlon Anderson. Defensive indifference sent him to second, and Pete LaForest singled. But Lugo popped to second to end it.

    "They don't get much better than him," Martin said of Martinez.

    Martinez had to be sharp because Tampa Bay's Jeremi Gonzalez pitched six solid innings, allowing just six runners and three hits.

    "Jeremi's pitched consistent for us all year," Piniella said.

    Gonzalez faced Toronto's Roy Halladay in his last start, and the Blue Jays won 3-1 as Halladay won his 20th game.

    Martinez got into a jam in the seventh when Aubrey Huff tripled on the first pitch. But Martinez needed just six pitches to retire the next three batters and leave Huff at third.

    Martinez allowed just three runners through the first six innings. Damian Rolls was hit by a pitch in the second, Toby Hall singled but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double in the third and Hall doubled in the sixth with no outs, but was stranded at third.

    Game notes

    CF Johnny Damon crashed into the scoreboard in left-center, trying to catch Huff's triple, and lost his hat but stayed in the game. ... In the bottom of the seventh, Tampa Bay CF Rocco Baldelli leaped against the center-field wall to catch Andy Abad's drive. ... The Devil Rays have played 84 games decided by one or two runs. ... Ramirez drew his AL-leading 26th intentional walk in the eighth. It broke his team record of 25 in 2001 for most by a right-handed hitter. Lefty Ted Williams set the club record of 33 in 1957.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press