Martinez rolls again


Pedro Martinez gave the Boston Red Sox the type of performance they need to overtake the New York Yankees in the AL East.

Martinez outpitched Mike Mussina in a marquee matchup that lived up to its billing, sending the Red Sox over New York 4-2 Friday night in the opener of a big three-game series.

“I tell you what, it was vintage Pedro and Mussina out there,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “We were fortunate to come out on top. Pedro was outstanding. Either pitcher deserved to win that game.”

Shea Hillenbrand had two RBIs, and Nomar Garciaparra drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly foulout to first baseman Nick Johnson — undercut by second baseman Alfonso Soriano near the tarp.

Boston beat the Yankees for the eighth time in 12 meetings this season and cut its division deficit to two games. Ugueth Urbina got four outs for his 24th save.

“It’s really important because this is the team we’re chasing,” Martinez said. “Every win we can get against these guys is huge. It sets the tone for the rest of the games.”

Mike Mussina (12-4) gave up three runs — two earned — and five hits in eight innings.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada made a key throwing error and struck out four times — stranding the potential tying run on third in the eighth.

Athletics 10, Rangers 0 Cory Lidle (3-8) pitched a one-hitter for his first major league shutout, allowing only Juan Gonzalez’s leadoff double in the eighth. Texas has lost a season-high seven straight.

John Mabry homered and drove in four runs, and Scott Hatteberg hit a three-run homer for the host A’s, who won for the 10th time in 13 games.

Angels 15, Mariners 3 Tim Salmon tied a career high with five hits — including a three-run homer — and had five RBIs as Anaheim got 20 hits and ended a 12-game home losing streak against Seattle.

Ramon Ortiz (9-7) won for the first time in five starts, allowing two runs and seven hits in seven innings. Freddy Garcia (11-6) gave up six runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Twins 5, Tigers 1 Corey Koskie and David Ortiz homered on the first two pitches of the fourth inning as the visiting Twins opened a 12-game lead in the AL Central, the largest advantage for the franchise since moving to Minnesota in 1961.

Kyle Lohse (9-5) gave up one run and six hits in six innings, and Johan Santana finished for his first major league save.

Royals 8, Indians 5 Kansas City won its eighth straight — the Royals’ longest winning streak since 1994, as Raul Ibanez hit a three run homer.

Chuck Finley, scratched from his start for the visiting Indians, was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league outfielder Luis Garcia and a player to be named.

Blue Jays 11, Devil Rays 8 Tom Wilson hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning off Doug Creek (2-1) to help send Tampa Bay to a team-record 12th consecutive road loss.

Tampa Bay, with the worst record in the majors at 29-65, has lost six straight overall and 14 of 15. The Devil Rays have the major leagues’ longest road skid since Philadelphia lost 12 straight in 1999.

Orioles 10, White Sox 4 Rodrigo Lopez (10-3) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings and struck out a career-high eight to become the first rookie to win 10 games for Baltimore since Rocky Coppinger in 1996.

Gary Matthews Jr. homered and drove in two runs at Camden Yards. Jon Garland (8-7) gave up eight runs and eight hits in three-plus innings.