ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After hitting his first batter, Pedro Martinez was nearly perfect.
Twenty-four up, twenty-four down.
Then came John Flaherty's leadoff single in the ninth.
''I don't really care. I've achieved enough,'' Martinez said after finishing with a one-hitter Tuesday night in Boston's beanball- and brawl-filled 8-0 win over Tampa Bay.
''I've had enough achievement in my career,'' Martinez said. ''A no-hitter is not what's going to dictate what kind of pitcher I am. I think my career is more interesting than one game.''
After hitting Gerald Williams with his fourth pitch of the night, Martinez (15-4) was perfect until Flaherty singled to the right-center on a 2-2 pitch. Martinez then retired his next three batters, finishing with the third one-hitter of his career.
He struck out 13, including Greg Vaughn and Fred McGriff three times each, and walked none.
''Pedro was totally dominating,'' Flaherty said. ''We didn't get much against him. It was a bad ballgame for us.''
Eight Devil Rays -- five players, manager Larry Rothschild and two coaches -- were ejected in the first seven innings during five altercations, primarily caused by four hit batters, including Boston's Brian Daubach twice.
Tampa Bay thought Martinez hit Williams intentionally, and Daubach became a target for Devil Rays pitchers after the first baseman joined the fray when Williams charged the mound and landed a punch.
''The whole thing was we thought Daubach threw some cheap shots in the pile,'' said Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild, who was ejected for arguing that Martinez should have been tossed out for throwing at Williams.
''You've got to protect your players,'' the manager added. ''You're not going to let that happen.''
Martinez, the AL Cy Young Award winner, lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.68, throwing 110 pitches, including 71 strikes.
On June 3, 1995, when he was with Montreal, Martinez became only the second pitcher in the history of the major leagues to take a perfect game into extra innings, before allowing a leadoff double to San Diego's Bip Roberts leading off the 10th.
The only other pitcher to accomplish the feat was Harvey Haddix of Pittsburgh in 1959. He pitched 12 perfect innings in that game before losing in the 13th.
Under amended no-hitter rules adopted by an eight-man committee on statistical accuracy in 1991, Martinez received credit for neither a perfect game nor a no-hitter.
''I'm not disappointed at all. I wanted to win a ballgame. I'm not there to pitch no-hitters and stuff. The days that it happens, I'll take them,'' Martinez said.
Flaherty lined his hit after Martinez carefully removed a chain from around his neck that broke on the previous pitch.
''He hit a good pitch. I have to tip my hat to him and just go away,'' the Martinez said. ''I lost with a fastball, the way it should have been.''
Carl Everett went 4-for-5 and equaled a career high with six RBIs. He had a two-run double in the third, a solo homer in the fifth and a three-run seventh-inning homer. The first homer was Everett's 100th, including 32 this season.
''Unfortunately, we had some disagreements out there. But I wanted him to throw a no-hitter,'' Everett said. ''It just is amazing that someone like him has never thrown one. I just wanted him to do it. When Flaherty got the hit, I wanted to have rubber arms and try to grab that.''
Tigers 12, Orioles 2
BALTIMORE -- Dean Palmer homered and drove in four runs to back an effective pitching performance by Jeff Weaver (9-11) as Detroit beat Baltimore.
Bobby Higginson and Dusty Allen also homered, and Juan Encarnacion had four hits for the Tigers. It was Allen's first major league homer.
Royals 7, Twins 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Blake Stein (5-3) allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings and Kansas City used two big innings to beat Minnesota.
Mike Sweeney had a two-run double in a four-run third inning off J.C. Romero (2-4), and Jermaine Dye added a two-run double in three-run fifth.
Indians 12, Rangers 1
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Steve Woodard (1-2) allowed one run and four hits in six innings for his first win since May 11, and Cleveland routed Texas.
David Segui, acquired from Texas on July 28 for outfielder Ricky Ledee, and Manny Ramirez each had two-run homers for the Indians, who have taken over the AL wild-card lead by going 17-8 since Aug. 2.
Mariners 5, Yankees 3
SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez hit a come-from-behind grand slam off Jeff Nelson with two outs in the eighth inning as Seattle stunned New York.
Andy Pettitte (16-7), who had won seven straight starts, took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and three-hit shutout into the eighth before allowing one-out singles to David Bell, Carlos Guillen and Rickey Henderson that loaded the bases.
Stan Javier hit a liner to left that Luis Polonia dropped while attempting a back-handed catch -- it was ruled a hit -- driving in the first run and chasing Pettitte.
White Sox 3, Athletics 0
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chicago's James Baldwin combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, and Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer.
Baldwin (14-4), who skipped his last start with a tired arm, stymied the Athletics on five hits through five innings for his career-high 14th victory.
Angels 9, Blue Jays 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Darin Erstad went 3-for-5 to reach 200 hits faster than any player in 65 years as Anaheim rallied from a four-run deficit.
The Angels trailed 4-0 before Troy Glaus hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning and Mo Vaughn tied it with a solo shot in the fifth.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.