Red Sox 12, Rangers 3

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BOSTON (AP)—The Red Sox can breathe easier for the next five days: Pedro Martinez’s groin appears to be fine.

And Boston’s offense is looking good, too.

Martinez pitched six shutout innings to rebound from a poor outing and the Red Sox got 16 hits—six of them for extra bases—to beat the Texas Rangers 12-3 on Thursday night.

“Giving Pedro that many runs, it can demoralize a team,” catcher Jason Varitek said after Martinez (4-2) struck out eight and walked one before leaving with a 10-0 lead. Only one Texas baserunner reached third base against him.

“It made it easier for us, with the score the way it was, to get him out of there at that point and go ahead and look forward to his next start,” manager Grady Little said.

Martinez, who is not speaking to the media, felt a pain in his groin during his last outing, when he allowed five runs and eight hits in a 5-0 loss at Minnesota last Friday. Little said his ace threw on the side Tuesday and had no trouble.

“If we thought he was going to favor his groin, we would not have put him out there,” Little said. “We have a tendency to overreact because this guy is a special pitcher. He means so much to this ballclub … and he has earned the right to have some overreaction to anything that concerns him.”

Alan Benes (0-2) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks before leaving with nobody out in the fourth. It was his second start since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs; in both games he pitched a pair of scoreless innings before struggling.

Boston scored two in the third when Nomar Garciaparra’s popup fell in front of right fielder Carl Everett and bounced past him for a triple. In the fourth, the Red Sox strung together three consecutive singles before a two-run triple by Bill Mueller chased Benes.

Todd Greene, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, homered off Jason Shiell to lead off the seventh. Everett added a two-out solo homer, the 13th of the year for the former Red Sox outfielder, to make it 10-2 and give the Boston fans even more reason to boo him.

After a half-inning of the crowd chanting “Throw it back!” a fan finally tossed the ball back onto the field. When another object was thrown toward Everett, the game was delayed for several minutes while Rangers manager Buck Showalter went all the way out to right field to talk to his player.

“The verbal stuff is fine, but they shouldn’t be throwing stuff,” Texas first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said. “It’s dangerous and we aren’t paying attention to them, we are focusing on the game. The baseball field, to me, is a sacred place, and the fans should respect that.”

Everett was hit in the head with a cell phone thrown by a fan in Oakland. Also last month, a fan ran onto the field in Chicago and grabbed umpire Laz Diaz.

“It’s unfortunate the intelligence of just a few reflects so poorly on so many,” Showalter said. “It’s something that happens in all sports. It just seems to be magnified a little bit here lately in baseball.”

Everett, who had a tumultuous two seasons in Boston before he was traded tothe Rangers, did not come out of the trainer’s room after the game.

Notes

Garciaparra tripled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. It’s the longest active streak in the major leagues. His career longest was 30 games, as a rookie. His double tied him with Harry Hooper for 13th on the Red Sox all-time list. … Martinez allowed five runs and eight hits infive innings of a loss to Minnesota last Friday.

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