Pedro Martinez reached 300 strikeouts and broke Roger Clemens's team record.
"It's pretty special to have the opportunity to see him pitch every day," Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams said last night after Martinez pitched a three-hitter and struck out 12 to lead the Red Sox over the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, in Boston.
"You see him one time, and you say, `Wow, look at that!' But how many times have you seen him do this?" said Williams, who conceded that he felt like a fan while watching his ace pitch. "I really don't know how you can put in perspective what we're seeing out here."
The loss, Toronto's sixth in a row, dropped the Blue Jays 11 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race with 11 games to play. The Red Sox, who won their sixth consecutive game, maintained a five game wild-card lead over Oakland.
"If he's not the best pitcher in baseball, I don't know who is," Blue Jays Manager Jim Fregosi said.
Martinez (22-4) joined Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more in each league. Only nine pitchers in baseball history have reached the 300-mark more than once, led by Nolan Ryan, who did it six times.
YANKEES 3, WHITE SOX 1: Andy Pettitte (14-11) pitched into the eighth inning and host New York easily held on to its three-game lead in the East.
Paul O'Neill reached 100 RBI for the third straight season and Chuck Knoblauch had three hits as the Yankees kept their edge over Boston.
INDIANS 6, TIGERS 1: Harold Baines and Manny Ramirez each drove in three runs and Dave Burba pitched eight strong innings in Detroit.
Burba (15-8), who is 7-2 in 10 starts since Aug. 1, was locked in a pitching duel with rookie Dave Borkowski.
Burba gave up one unearned run on two hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Mike Jackson pitched the ninth.
Borkowski (1-5), making his 10th major league start, gave up three runs, six hits and four walks in eight innings.
ATHLETICS 5, TWINS 3: John Jaha hit a two-run homer to tie it and Ramon Hernandez followed an inning later with a go-ahead, two-run double in Oakland.
MARINERS 13, ROYALS 3: In Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his AL-leading 47th home run and Alex Rodriguez homered twice. Rodriguez became the first AL shortstop to hit 40 home runs twice.
ANGELS 7, DEVIL RAYS 5: Gary DiSarcina hit his first homer of the season and Andy Sheets had two RBI in Anaheim.