Pedro Martinez struck out a record 17 Yankees batters and pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a second-inning home run to Chili Davis in leading the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees, 3-1, last night at Yankee Stadium.
"This is as good as it gets," Martinez said. "I felt in command of everything on every count."
Martinez (21-4) retired the final 22 batters, set a career high for strikeouts and matched his best low-hit game ever. After the home run by Davis, he did not allow another runner in completing a near-perfect effort.
Martinez leads the majors in wins and earned run average (2.20) and tops the AL in strikeouts (274), and the sellout crowd of 55,239 got to see why.
Never before had 17 Yankees batters been fanned in one game, but New York had no chance against Martinez's dazzling assortment of fastballs, curves and change-ups. He struck out the final five hitters and faced just 28 batters -- Chuck Knoblauch was hit by a pitch leading off the game, then caught stealing.
"I've never seen a game pitched like that," Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams said.
Mike Stanley hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning against former teammate Andy Pettitte (12-11) as the Red Sox won for the 13th time in 17 games. The Red Sox cut the Yankees lead in the AL East to 5 1/2 games. Boston held its three-game lead over Oakland, which beat Tampa Bay 7-2, in the wild-card race.
Martinez struck out the side in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings, and fanned at least 10 for the fifth straight start. He was so dominant that the Yankees hit only one fair ball after the fourth inning. Martinez walked none in his fourth complete game.
INDIANS 14, WHITE SOX 6: In Chicago, David Justice hit a grand slam to highlight a season-high 12-run fourth inning and power the Cleveland Indians to the victory.
Justice's grand slam was his second this season and the 10th by the Indians, the most in the majors and a club record.
Harold Baines and Omar Vizquel each drove in three runs in the fourth as the Indians won for the eighth time in the last 11 games.
Manny Ramirez added his 39th home run -- and major league leading 144th RBI -- with one out in the sixth in support of Bartolo Colon (16-5). Colon gave up four runs -- two earned -- two hits and three walks in six innings.
Kip Wells (2-1) took the loss, Chicago's 13th in its last 15 games. He gave up eight runs, seven hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings in his third major league start.
TIGERS 7, BLUE JAYS 6: Juan Encarnacion's bases-loaded single in the ninth inning gave host Detroit a wild win over Toronto.
Detroit rallied from a 5-2 deficit with four runs in the eighth, only to see Toronto tie it in the top of the ninth.
Tony Clark led off the bottom of the ninth with a double off John Frascatore (7-1). Pinch runner Frank Catalanotto took third when the first pitch of an intentional walk to Damion Easley was so high it bounced off catcher Darren Fletcher's glove for a wild pitch.
Easley and Dean Palmer were walked to load the bases before Encarnacion singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch.
Todd Jones (3-4) won after blowing a save for just the fourth time in 29 chances.
ROYALS 7, RANGERS 3: Blake Stein earned his first win in seven starts with the Kansas City Royals, pitching seven innings for the win over visiting Texas.
Mendy Lopez had three hits and three RBI, both career highs, as Kansas City broke Texas's four-game winning streak.
ATHLETICS 7, DEVIL RAYS 2: Rookie Tim Hudson won his eighth straight decision, allowing six hits in 7 2/3 innings as Oakland won on the road.
Hudson (10-1) struck out 11 to match a career high and lowered his ERA to 3.06.
Jason Giambi hit his 29th homer for Oakland in the fourth and Ryan Christenson delivered a two-run single in the fifth off Wilson Alvarez (9-7), who had a club-record, five-game winning streak snapped for Tampa Bay.
ANGELS 4, TWINS 2: In Minneapolis, Chuck Finley gave up three hits in 7 1/3 innings and Mo Vaughn went 4 for 4 with a homer and three RBI as Anaheim defeated Minnesota.