Pedro Martinez has lost some velocity off his fastball, but he’s still capable of dominating a game.
Martinez allowed six hits and struck out 10 in his first shutout in almost four years as the Red Sox defeated Tampa Bay 6-0 on Thursday. The 32-year-old right-hander threw 109 pitches in his 16th career shutout and first since Aug. 29, 2000.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner improved to 9-1 since losing in Toronto on May 16. He said the reason for his uncharacteristically slow start—4-3 with a 3.75 ERA in his first nine outings—was partly due to unseasonably cold temperatures.
“The weather was worse than I have ever faced before. You can’t feel the ball,” Martinez said. “But as the weather has gone along, I’ve gotten better. And, hopefully, it can carry over to the end of the season.”
Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said Martinez doesn’t need to blow people away to win games.
“He’s not the power guy he used to be but he pitches,” Piniella said. “He was in full control out there.”
The Red Sox have won five of seven to remain tied with Texas atop the AL wild-card race.
Kevin Millar and Orlando Cabrera each drove in two runs, and former Gold Glove first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz made his first career start at second in Boston’s 8-4 win in the series opener on Monday.
Wells is batting just .240 with nine RBIs in 31 games since the All-Star break. He has just 13 home runs and 38 RBIs after hitting 33 homers and knocking in a career-high 117 last season.
The Blue Jays are 4-12 in August.