Pedro es el Rey. 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts. Boston 2, Cleveland 0. Martinez is now 14-4, 2.25 and (IP be damned) has to be considered for the Cy Young Award. Martinez topped 200 strikeouts for the 7th time (he leads the AL with 204). He's also 10-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 14 career starts against Cleveland. ... Sunday was his 93rd career game with 10+ strikeouts and 66th for Boston, two shy of the club record, held by the man who thinks Toronto is near Texas.
1st: K, K, 2B, 9
2nd: K, 9, 1B, K
3rd: L6, 8, K
4th: 6-3, K, K
5th: 3U, 4-3, 1B, K
6th: K, 8, 3U
7th: K, BB, 1B, 8, BB, K
It sounded (listening to the radio) like Pedro threw his hardest in the 7th. Facing Santos with the bases loaded, he threw ball one low and ball two inside. A 93-mph fastball was called strike one. Santos fouled off a pitch in on his hands, and then whiffed on another fastball, Pedro's 115th pitch of the afternoon, clocked at 95! ... Timlin pitched the 8th and Kim got the 9th. It was good to see Grady bring Kim back and very good to hear Kim quickly dispatch three LH hitters. Broussard struck out looking (all 5 pitches were low and on the outside edge); Magruder popped to short on 1-2; and Hafner flied out to deep center on his first pitch to end it.
Elsewhere: Greg Maddux became the first pitcher to record at least 15 wins over 16 consecutive seasons (Cy Young did it for 15 seasons); and Oakland routed Seattle 12-0. Wild card lead back to 2½ games.
The Red Sox head home for four games against Baltimore and three against Tampa Bay to close out the regular season. ... Monday: I'll be speaking and signing copies of my book on the 1918 Red Sox at the Barnes & Noble near Fenway Park (660 Beacon Street), tomorrow evening at 5:30 pm. If anyone reading this is in Boston, why not stop by. After that, I'll head over to Fenway and watch Suppan/Jason Johnson.
Update: Providence Journal sports editor Art Martone reports: "It looks like the Sox will open Wednesday [October 1], not Tuesday. That means they'll play Wednesday and Thursday in Oakland (or Seattle), be off Friday, then play Saturday and Sunday in Boston."