Martinez mows down Yankees for seventh straight win

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2002

BOSTON -- Pedro Martinez joked that after 83 seasons without a championship, the Boston Red Sox might have a new ally.

''Maybe the Bambino was looking out for me today. Would you believe that?'' he said after pitching the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.

''Babe Ruth was one of the greatest men for the community. I don't think he would want to curse not even his worst enemy.''

Martinez won his seventh straight decision to open the season, matching last year's win total. His seventh win last season also came against the Yankees, 3-0 on May 29 when he improved to 7-1 with his first victory over them in more than a year. He showed little tolerance for those who say ''The Curse of the Bambino'' kept the Red Sox from winning the World Series.

''I don't believe in curses,'' he said then. ''Wake up the damn Bambino, maybe I'll drill him.''

On Thursday, the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees wasn't as important as the result to both teams.

''The rivalry doesn't concern us,'' New York manager Joe Torre said. ''Being two games out of first place, that bothers us.''

The Red Sox (31-13) lead the AL East by two games over the Yankees (31-17). Boston has the AL's best record, while New York lost the second spot to Seattle, which won Thursday night.

''They were playing well in April when we were here,'' said Jason Giambi, whose double in the ninth was one of five hits by the Yankees. ''They seem to be playing even better now.''

Mariners 7, Devil Rays 3

SEATTLE -- James Baldwin settled down after a rocky first inning to shut down Tampa Bay and help Seattle snap a four-game losing streak.

Ichiro Suzuki and Ruben Sierra had three hits apiece and John Olerud hit a three-run homer for the Mariners, who broke out of a slump with 11 hits. The Devil Rays had won a season-high four straight games.

Four of the first five batters reached base against Baldwin (4-4) as the Devil Rays took a 2-0 lead. That prompted a visit to the mound from manager Lou Piniella as John Halama began warming up in the bullpen. Baldwin retired 20 of the next 21 batters, including the final 18 he faced.

Orioles 11, Athletics 3

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chris Singleton and Marty Cordova each homered and drove in three runs as Baltimore beat up Mark Mulder and Oakland.

Singleton extended his season-high hitting streak to 12 games with a three-run homer in the second inning off Mulder (2-4), who has lost three straight since returning from the disabled list with a strain in his left forearm.

Cordova hit his fourth homer, a three-run shot off Mike Holtz in the eighth.

Sidney Ponson (3-3) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

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