Red Sox 4, Angels 2

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Pedro Martinez didn’t let umpire Matt Hollowell’s strike zone bother him.

Martinez won his sixth straight decision, Nomar Garciaparra homered and the Boston Red Sox beat the Anaheim Angels 4-2 Friday night.

“I don’t remember the last time I threw 50-some balls in a game. But the truth of the matter is that we won the game and the rest of it doesn’t really matter,” said Martinez, who threw only 63 of his 115 pitches for strikes.

“I felt like I could click 95 easy today, and I wasn’t too far from the strike zone—even though the results might show something else.”

David Ortiz, who leads the AL with 78 RBIs, also wasn’t happy about Hollowell’s work behind the plate and was ejected after arguing with Hollowell on a called third strike.

“If you saw Pedro’s pitches, they were more than close, and nobody gave it to him. And if you don’t call those pitches for Pedro, you shouldn’t call that pitch against me,” Ortiz said. “I have so many responsibilities going on for this ballclub, and I don’t feel like going out there and giving an at-bat away.”

Ortiz had to be restrained by manager Terry Francona and coach Brad Mills. He then tossed a couple of bats onto the field that came close to hitting first base umpire Bill Hohn and third base ump Mark Carlson standing near the plate.

“We had a couple of words, and I got on fire when he kicked me out of the game—just because I was asking questions,” Ortiz said.

“That’s not my personality. I don’t mean to hit anybody, I just wanted to throw my bats out there, like, `Here, you hit for me.’ I’m not a kind of guy who’s trying to cause trouble, but we’re not perfect. I did something wrong, and I apologize to the umpires and the fans. It’s over.”

Martinez (10-3) allowed two runs on five hits and four walks in six innings, while striking out eight. The three-time Cy Young winner improved his career record against Anaheim to 9-1 while ending the Angels’ four-game winning streak.

“He looked so different from the last time we faced him,” said Jose Guillen, who homered in the fourth. “He was on his game tonight. He came out throwing 93, 94, 95, 97. It looked like Pedro three years ago. Everyone in the dugout was kind of surprised at the way he was throwing.”

Martinez hasn’t lost in 10 starts since May 16 at Toronto.

“I’m looking forward to the second half, because it was really tough to get through the first half,” Martinez said. “Last year I put up a good second half, and I’m hoping for the same thing to try to help this team grab a spot in the playoffs.”

Keith Foulke got three outs for his 14th save in 18 opportunities and his first since June 13.

Kelvim Escobar (5-6) lost for the fourth time in his last five decisions, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked three.

With AL home run leader Manny Ramirez not starting because of sore hamstrings, Garciaparra hit cleanup for the third time this season and drove Escobar’s first pitch of the second inning over the fence in left-center.

It was the fifth homer for Garciaparra, who missed Boston’s first 57 games because of right Achilles’ tendinitis. It also was the first allowed by Escobar in a span of 31 innings since Derrek Lee of the Cubs took him deep on June 13.

The Red Sox made it 3-0 with a pair of fourth-inning runs. Trot Nixon led off with a flyball double to left field that Guillen lost in the twilight, and Jason Varitek followed with an RBI single.

Varitek stole second on strike three to Gabe Kapler and Pokey Reese snapped an 0-for-24 drought with an RBI single.

“After the display I put on before the All-Star break, that was big,” Reese said. “I’ve been struggling, but this is a new half, and getting a hit like that will help get some of my confidence back.”

Guillen made it 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth with his 16th homer.

Martinez, who did not allow a home run against a right-handed batter last season, has now given up five homers against righties this year.

Darin Erstad followed Guillen’s homer with a double, but Martinez struck out six of the next seven before Guillen walked and stole second before scoring on Erstad’s single to make it 3-2 in the sixth. Kapler got the run back in the eighth with his second homer of the season.


Martinez is 56-18 after Red Sox losses. … Boston is the first team with two 10-game winners. Curt Schilling is 11-4. … Ramirez, replacing Ortiz as the DH, singled in the ninth. … Anaheim DH Tim Salmon got a cortisone injection in his chronically sore shoulder Monday, and missed his third straight game.

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