Boston The Boston Red Sox are expecting more games like this from Pedro Martinez in the second half of the season.
That's why they're letting him get a head start.
"We're trying to set up the second half where we can run these guys out there a lot," manager Terry Francona said Wednesday night after the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics, 11-3, thanks to seven strong innings from Martinez in his final start before the All-Star break.
Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez and Mark Bellhorn homered to help Boston amass 22 runs on 32 hits in the first two games of the series. The Red Sox won consecutive games for the first time since June 17-18.
"Man, it's been three weeks?" center fielder Johnny Damon said. "We feel like we can take off. It's probably a good time to start."
Martinez (9-3) allowed one earned run on five hits and a walk, striking out seven. He gave up three runs in the third before settling down and facing one batter above the minimum over the next four innings.
The three-time Cy Young winner could have pitched a day earlier on his regular rest and then again on Sunday before the break. But Red Sox management decided to give him an extra day off because of an off-day; he isn't expected to start again until July 15, giving him seven days of rest between starts.
Boston has been helped by the Oakland defense, which entered the series leading the AL, but committed two more errors -- and several other misplays -- to go with two on Tuesday night.
Tigers 10, Yankees 8
New York -- Detroit beat up New York pitching for the second day in a row and won a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 1996. Rookie Brad Halsey (1-2) gave up seven runs and nine hits in 41/3 innings for New York, which has allowed 49 runs in its last six games. The Yankees were swept by the Mets last weekend. The Tigers won after Ivan Rodriguez and manager Alan Trammell were ejected in the first inning for arguing after the All-Star catcher was called out on strikes by Angel Hernandez.
Blue Jays 12, Mariners 4
Toronto -- Josh Phelps homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs to lead Toronto over struggling Seattle. Phelps had a mammoth grand slam off Julio Mateo that landed in the fifth deck at SkyDome. He also hit a two-run homer off Travis Blackley (1-1) and added an RBI double to become the fifth Toronto player with seven RBIs in a game. Toronto's Josh Towers (3-3) allowed four runs on 10 hits in 61/3 innings.
Rangers 9, Indians 8
Cleveland -- Gary Matthews Jr. and Mark Teixeira hit two-run homers in a decisive seventh inning. Teixeira connected off Jeriome Robertson (1-1), and Matthews hit his off Rick White. Alfonso Soriano and Brad Fullmer added solo shots for the Rangers. Reliever Ron Mahay (2-0) won, and Francisco Cordero got his 26th save.
Devil Rays 13, Orioles 3
Baltimore -- Rob Bell took a two-hitter into the eighth inning, and Toby Hall and Damian Rolls had three RBIs apiece to lead Tampa Bay over Baltimore. The only player to reach base against Bell (3-3) over the first seven innings was Brian Roberts, who hit doubles in the first and third. Bell retired 13 straight batters at one point. John Parrish (5-3) and four relievers combined to yield 14 hits and 11 walks.
Angels 12, White Sox 0
Chicago -- Jarrod Washburn pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout, and Jose Guillen homered twice and tied a career high with five RBIs for Anaheim. Angels catcher Bengie Molina -- one of the slowest players in the majors -- grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play. Washburn (9-4) struck out six and walked two in his fifth complete game and first in 2004. Scott Schoeneweis (5-7) gave up six runs in five innings and lost his fifth straight decision.