<
>

Pedro throws six shutout innings as Sox sweep

BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez had no trouble with his sore leg --
or the Texas Rangers.

The three-time Cy Young winner allowed five hits in six shutout
innings to rebound from a poor outing, and the Boston Red Sox beat
Texas 12-3 on Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Martinez (4-2) struck out eight and walked one before leaving
with a 10-0 lead. Only one Rangers baserunner reached third against
him.

"Giving Pedro that many runs, it can demoralize a team,"
Boston catcher Jason Varitek said.

Martinez, who is not speaking to reporters, felt a pain in his
groin during his previous outing, when he allowed five runs and
eight hits in a 5-0 loss at Minnesota last Friday. Red Sox manager
Grady Little said his ace threw on the side Tuesday and had no
trouble.

"If we thought he was going to favor his groin, we would not
have put him out there," Little said. "We have a tendency to
overreact because this guy is a special pitcher. He means so much
to this ballclub ... and he has earned the right to have some
overreaction to anything that concerns him."

Alan Benes (0-2) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks
before leaving with nobody out in the fourth. It was his second
start since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs; in both games he
pitched a pair of scoreless innings before struggling.

Boston scored two in the third when Nomar Garciaparra's popup
fell in front of right fielder Carl Everett and bounced past him
for a triple. In the fourth, the Red Sox strung together three
consecutive singles before a two-run triple by Bill Mueller chased
Benes.

Jason Varitek singled off Todd Van Poppel and Johnny Damon
walked before Todd Walker hit into a double play. But Manny Ramirez
singled to score Varitek and make it 7-0.

In the sixth, Damon tripled, Walker doubled and Garciaparra hit
a run-scoring double with one out. Ramirez was intentionally walked
before David Ortiz bounced a single up the middle to score two more
and chase Van Poppel.

Jay Powell got Kevin Millar to hit into an inning-ending double
play on his first pitch, but by that time Boston led 10-0.

Todd Greene, activated from the disabled list earlier in the
day, homered off Jason Shiell to lead off the seventh. Everett
added a two-out solo homer, the 13th of the year for the former Red
Sox outfielder, to make it 10-2 and give the Boston fans even more
reason to boo him.

After a half-inning of the crowd chanting "Throw it back!" a
fan finally tossed the ball back onto the field. When another
object was thrown toward Everett, the game was delayed for several
minutes while Rangers manager Buck Showalter went all the way out
to right field to talk to his player.

"The verbal stuff is fine, but they shouldn't be throwing
stuff," Texas first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said. "It's dangerous
and we aren't paying attention to them, we are focusing on the
game. The baseball field, to me, is a sacred place, and the fans
should respect that."

Everett was hit in the head with a cell phone thrown by a fan in
Oakland. Also last month, a fan ran onto the field in Chicago and
grabbed umpire Laz Diaz.

"It's unfortunate the intelligence of just a few reflects so
poorly on so many," Showalter said. "It's something that happens
in all sports. It just seems to be magnified a little bit here
lately in baseball."

Everett, who had a tumultuous two seasons in Boston before he
was traded to the Rangers, was not available for comment after the
game.

Game notes
Garciaparra tripled in the third to extend his hitting
streak to 16 games. It's the longest active streak in the major
leagues. His career longest was 30 games, as a rookie. His double
tied him with Harry Hooper for 13th on the Red Sox career list. ...
Walker has reached base safely in 32 of 33 starts this season,
including all 17 at Fenway Park. ... The Rangers sent Gerald Laird
to Triple-A Oklahoma to make room for Greene. ... With 13 homers in
the first 38 games, Texas' Juan Gonzalez has accomplished the feat
three times in his career. He also did it in 1993 and '95. ...
X-rays were negative for Texas' Mark Teixeira, hit on the right
hand by a pitch from Mike Timlin on Wednesday. ... Boston RHP Matt
White allowed one hit in one inning of a rehabilitation outing with
Double-A Portland. ... Ramirez is tied with Carlos Delgado for the
AL lead with eight intentional walks.