Orioles shake off rain, Martinez in drilling Sox, 13-6

Hitters reach Boston star for career-high 10 runs

1st game again postponed

April 13, 2003|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

BOSTON - The rains wouldn't stop, and the Orioles knew if they ever did, Pedro Martinez would be waiting for them.

So while the Boston Red Sox couldn't wait to open Fenway Park for the first time this season, the Orioles were getting pretty content sitting cloistered in the tiny little visitors' clubhouse.

After getting rained out Friday, the first game of a scheduled day-night doubleheader was postponed again yesterday morning and rescheduled for Aug. 8.

Once things finally started last night, the Orioles realized something was askew. The long wait seemed to affect Martinez even more than it did Jason Johnson, the ultimate creature of habit.

The Orioles scored three runs in the first inning and the floodgates really opened in the fifth. Martinez surrendered a career-high 10 runs, and the Orioles cruised to a 13-6 victory.

"I have no idea what was wrong with him, but it was obvious he wasn't on his game," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "He's beat up on us and everybody else for a long, long time. It's kind of nice to give it back to him. We could beat him for the next 10 years, and he'd still be ahead of us."

Martinez was 7-1 against them for his career entering this game. Last season, he won all four games against them and posted a 1.88 ERA. Even more remarkable, the Red Sox outscored the Orioles in those games 39-6.

The Orioles were downright beside themselves last Saturday when this same pitching matchup - a three-time Cy Young winner against their own No. 5 starter - had produced a 2-1 victory at Camden Yards.

To think it could happen again would be pressing their luck.

But after starting the season with a 0.60 ERA - one earned run in 15 innings pitched - Martinez (0-1) got pounded this time. He allowed nine hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. His previous career high for runs allowed was nine, and that came as a member of the Montreal Expos, on July 18, 1999, against the Florida Marlins.

"Everything felt good. I just felt heavy," Martinez said. "This is the first time in a long time I had more than five days to really pitch. I was ready to go yesterday. Things just happen. No excuses. The other kid pitched a real good game."

Johnson (1-0) carried a three-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up with his first victory of the year. In 6 1/3 innings, he allowed three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out five.

In years past, Johnson has struggled when asked to pitch on anything but the normal four days' rest. This time, on six days' rest, he took things in stride.

"This year, I'm going to try to shake that off," he said.

And perhaps the Orioles will keep rewarding him with offense.

Leadoff batter Jerry Hairston hit the first pitch of the game from Martinez for a single. With two outs, Jeff Conine drew a key walk, taking a 3-2 pitch for a ball.

Gibbons followed with a sinking liner to right-center field. Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon raced in and tried to make a diving catch, but the ball bounced past him, allowing Hairston and Conine to cross the plate.

Entering the game, Gibbons was batting .143 against Martinez for his career, with two hits in 14 at-bats.

"He looked the same to me as he always does," Gibbons said. "He still made me look stupid when he struck me out [in the third inning]."

With Gibbons on second, Tony Batista drilled a ball off the Green Monster.

Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez held Batista to a single, but Gibbons scored, making it 3-0.

Martinez settled in for a while, retiring nine of his next 11 batters, and Damon hit a two-run homer off Johnson in the third, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Against a Boston club that had averaged 7.2 runs on its season-opening 10-game road trip, that margin seemed paper thin.

But the Orioles had a fifth inning to remember, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs off Martinez, the most he's allowed in any inning for his career.

He gave up six runs in the second inning on July 1, 1994, in San Francisco.

Gary Matthews, who had been in a slump, had a run-scoring double in the inning, and B.J. Surhoff finished Martinez with a two-run single to right.

Red Sox manager Grady Little went to the mound to pull Martinez. There were scattered boos at Fenway, but most fans gave the three-time Cy Young winner a cheer.

"It doesn't surprise me," Martinez said. "I'm used to Boston now, and I know how the people are. ... I respect that."

Orioles today

Opponent:Boston Red Sox

Site:Fenway Park, Boston

Time:2:05 p.m.

TV/Radio:Ch. 54/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters:Orioles' Rodrigo Lopez (0-1, 8.44) vs. Red Sox's Derek Lowe (1-1, 7.94)

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