BOSTON (AP) -- When Pedro Martinez tried to support his teammates, he got suspended. When they failed to support him, he picked up a loss.
The Boston Red Sox ace matched a career-high with 17 strikeouts
on Saturday but was outdueled by Steve Trachsel, who pitched a three-hit shutout to lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a 1-0
"He goes out there and pitches that way and we can't score one
run to support him," Red Sox first baseman Brian Daubach said. "I
feel almost as bad as last year, when we lost in the playoffs."
The loss ended Martinez' 13-game winning streak, and he'll have
an extra day to stew over it: The Red Sox announced in the ninth
inning that he withdrew the appeal of his five-game suspension and
will start serving it on Sunday. He is scheduled to pitch Friday,
one day later than normal.
"Probably the best thing to do is move on, put things behind
us," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "Go ahead and serve the
five games and then pitch."
Martinez (5-1) fanned six batters through two innings and had 12 strikeouts after five. The 17 strikeouts were the most in the
majors this season and matched Martinez's 17-strikeout, one-hitter
against the Yankees last Sept. 10.
"When he took the mound, he decided he wasn't going to give an
inch," said Trachsel (2-2), who walked three and struck out a
career-high 11 for his third career shutout. "I knew it was going
to be a tough game. A guy at the hotel said, 'You've got Pedro
tomorrow. Good luck.' "
But afterward, it was Martinez who rued facing Trachsel.
"I wish I could just pitch like Trachsel: get my ground balls,
fly balls, and get out of there," he said. "I tried as hard as I
could to keep it 0-0, but they're also good and you have to give
them some respect."
Martinez struck out Miguel Cairo to start the eighth for No. 16, then Gerald Williams grounded out before Dave Martinez singled and stole second. Vaughn, who struck out on three pitches in each of his first three at-bats, worked the count full before singling to center as Tampa Bay won for just the second time in seven games.
"I don't know about redemption. That was straight survival,"
Vaughn said. "I was in an alley with Junior Seau and Greg Lloyd:
one way in, one way out."
Martinez was making his scheduled start despite receiving a
five-game suspension on Wednesday, three days after he
intentionally hit Cleveland's Roberto Alomar with a pitch. He was allowed to pitch pending the appeal.
"He decided to do that because this allows him to take his
regular turn Friday in Baltimore," general manager Dan Duquette
said. "It's better for us that Pedro is focused on his next start
rather than go through the process."
After Gerald Williams singled on the game's first pitch, Martinez struck out the side. Trachsel struck out the first three Boston batters, and then Martinez fanned two more Devil Rays to make it eight consecutive whiffs.
|Greg Vaughn follows through on his RBI single in the eighth that provided the winning margin for the Devil Rays.|
Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was out of the lineup, a day after straining his left hamstring running out a grounder. Garciaparra said before the game that he would be available to pinch hit, if needed. ... Tampa Bay was one of the four teams to beat Martinez last season, earning a 3-2 victory on July 7. ... Cairo entered the game as the hardest player in the majors to strike out. He fanned just three times in 103 plate appearances. ... Dave Martinez had one hit in his last 18 at-bats before singling in the eighth. .... Vinny Castilla is 0-for-15 with nine strikeouts against Martinez in his career.
Tampa Bay Clubhouse
Boston's Martinez drops appeal of five-game suspension
Tampa Bay 1
NY Yankees 3
Kansas City 11
Chi. White Sox 5
St. Louis 3
Chicago Cubs 9
San Francisco 6
San Diego 5
NY Mets 1
Los Angeles 9
Pedro Martinez says he likes the challenge.
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Steve Trachsel was surprised to see the strikeouts add up.
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