Once Again, Pedro Has Trouble Early,
Red Sox Rally Behind Damon
Boston Regains First Place From NY
June 26, 2002
Cleveland at Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Box Score and play-by-play
Sox ride big inning over [Cleveland] -- After shaky start, Pedro's offense bails
Ian Browne, mlb.com
The conventional wisdom was that ace Pedro Martinez would will the Red Sox out of a season-high losing streak of four games by baffling [Cleveland] Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Sure enough, the Red Sox (46-28) emerged from their recent woes, which had added up to 11 losses in the last 16 games. It's just that Martinez wasn't the reason for this 7-4 victory. In fact, he put his mates in a 4-0 hole, giving up three home runs over the first five innings. But a rejuvenated offense erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth ... Martinez picked up strikeout No. 2,100 in his career, making him the seventh active pitcher to have that many.
and starter: Fired up for Pedro, Sox regain form, 1st
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
"Sometimes, it's going to be like that. There were times (in past years) when the offense wouldn't go and I had to win 1-0 or 2-0. I had to do it by myself,'' said Martinez, who has received an average of 6.66 runs per nine innings that ranks 10th among AL starters this season. "This time (the hitters) are doing it. I'm getting away with wins and no-decisions, but that's part of the game.'' ...
Burks' homer, for what it's worth, increased Martinez' first-inning ERA this season to an unsightly 7.88. The pitcher's ERA over the balance of games sits at 2.18. Said Martinez of his early troubles: "I left a couple of pitches up early in the game and they took advantage of it.''
homers aside, Pedro sharp again
Joe McDonald, Providence Journal
Pedro Martinez ... is 8-1 against [Cleveland] and has a good history against the club. Most remember his appearance against them in the 1999 playoffs when he tossed six perfect innings in relief and helped the Sox to a dramatic victory. He continues to dominate ... and he did it here again last night. He worked seven complete innings while surrendering four runs on five hits. He walked none and struck out nine to become the eighth active pitcher to record 2,100 Ks. ...
"Johnny Damon is without a doubt is as important as any of us on the team," said Martinez. "Johnny has been the pump on this team. The heart of this team and his defense has been great. Today he showed it again that he can cover a lot of ground. I feel confident to let the opposition hit the ball."
was not special -- Martinez just good enough to prevail
Joe Burris, Boston Globe
Big-name players take it upon themselves to lead their teams out of adversity. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez entered last night's game against Cleveland at Fenway Park with that in mind. Concerned with how the team would respond to another defeat, he sought to deliver a solid performance that would help end the Sox' four-game skid. Those plans seemed derailed soon after the game began when Martinez gave up a single to Chris Magruder then a home run to Ellis Burks.
take the fifth, lock up [Cleveland]
Phil O'Neill, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The Red Sox got the big hit and the big inning they hope will catapult them back to the top of baseball's leaderboard in a come-from-behind, 7-4 victory over [Cleveland] before 32,255 roaring fans last night at Fenway Park. Season-long sparkplug Johnny Damon brought the crowd to its feet with a bases-clearing triple in the six-run fifth inning, the second biggest inning of the season, as the Sox charged back from a 4-0 deficit fueled by three Cleveland home runs off Pedro Martinez.
lets Pedro wiggle off hook
Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer
When Martinez used to face [Cleveland], things vibrated with a sense of danger. He was either knocking down Einar Diaz or bad-mouthing former manager Mike Hargrove for not pitching him in the All-Star Game. When he grew bored with such trivial pursuits, he rode a white horse out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the 1999 Division Series to pitch six scoreless innings and keep [Cleveland] from going to the American League Championship Series. Martinez beat [Cleveland] last night, 7-4, but there was no tingle. He has a bad right shoulder and [Cleveland has] a bad team.
blasts Pedro, but can't get win
Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon-Journal
Oh well. It was fun for awhile. [Cleveland] hit three home runs off Pedro Martinez on Wednesday night and still lost 7-4 at Fenway Park. That is not a misprint. Martinez actually gave up three homers ... including the first homer of Ben Broussard's big-league career. Broussard has been in the majors less than a week, so his "gee whiz'' attitude comes as no surprise. "It's just awesome to be here,'' he said. "Getting to face the pitchers I've faced and the experience of playing in Fenway Park is like a dream.''
hits Pedro, but not hard enough
Jim Ingraham, Lorain Morning Journal
Not that you didn't already know what kind of year it's been for [Cleveland], but just in case you didn't, here's what kind of year it's been ... last night, in the span of 14 batters, [Cleveland] blasted three home runs off Pedro Martinez -- which, of course, paved the way for another [loss] to the pitcher that has never lost a game to [Cleveland] that Steve Woodard has not started.
Pedro, less is more
Michael Gee, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez is closing in on another record. No pitcher en route to a 20-win season has ever generated as much hometown angst as has the Red Sox ace this year. And frankly, Martinez finds the fuss bewildering. ... The Martinez "problem'' is easy to describe. His fastball now merely hits the low 90s rather than 95-plus mph. Accordingly, his mistakes with that pitch are no longer unhittable. When a power pitcher loses some power, homers result. ... Martinez pretends not to notice his loss of raw speed. "I have no idea about my velocity,'' Martinez said, "but I was making good pitches. Everything went well.''
Rally For Pedro
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
For years, the drill was predictable. Every fifth day, Pedro Martinez provided a one-day reprieve that allowed the Red Sox to exhale. Martinez would stifle the opposition and the Red Sox would win, even if their hitters were silent. This year, Martinez playfully says he is in wonderland - a place where he isn't sure how he will perform from one start to the next. Last week, he quieted the Padres. Wednesday night, he was rather ordinary against a rather ordinary [Cleveland] lineup ...
men Red Sox step forth in fifth and put up six in comeback
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
The kid's enthusiasm was understandable on a night that Sox frustration, which had reached the critical stage, judging by the fury with which Nomar Garciaparra had flung his glove at the dugout steps after popping up in the fourth, evaporated in the span of an inning. The Sox batted through the order for the first time in nearly six weeks. They scored six runs in the fifth inning, more runs than they had scored in one inning since putting up a 7-spot in Oakland May 8 ... With the Yankees losing for the second straight night to the Orioles, the Sox moved a half-game ahead of the Bombers in the American League East.
Sox offense scores big -- Six-run fifth inning beats [Cleveland], moves Sox into
Ian Browne, mlb.com
Slumps are inevitable in baseball, but that doesn't make them predictable. When an offense goes into a collective funk, as the Red Sox had been in, there is no telling when it will end. To the hitters involved, it feels contagious and never-ending.
vaults Sox into top spot
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
It was the fifth inning and the Red Sox, losers of their previous four games, were getting that sinking feeling again. ... In the home half of the fifth, however, it all began to turn around. By the time Martinez took the mound for the start of the sixth, the Red Sox had erased Cleveland's lead, staked Martinez to a 6-4 lead, and were on their way to snapping the losing streak with a 7-4 comeback win ... The victory, coupled with the Yankees' loss in Baltimore, vaulted the Sox back into first place, a position they had fallen out of Sunday as they wound down a disappointing 3-6 road trip.
role for Damon
Michael Vega, Boston Globe
Damon did it all. He made a magnificent diving grab of Jolbert Cabrera's missile deep in right-center to end the third inning. At the plate, he keyed a six-run eruption in the fifth inning with a bases-loaded triple down the line in right that tied the game, 4-4.
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