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Other brother

Ramon's win gives Boston a chance to pitch Pedro

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Posted: Sunday October 10, 1999 02:16 AM

  Ramon Martinez tips his cap to the Boston crowd. AP

BOSTON (AP) - Ramon Martinez wasn't unhittable, as his brother so often is.

He didn't strike out a dozen batters or turn the ball over to the closer or even pick up a win, like Pedro did more than anybody else in baseball this season.

But Ramon Martinez helped the Boston Red Sox in a way his little brother couldn't in their first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Indians: He helped them win.

The elder Martinez, a 20-game winner himself before a torn rotator cuff knocked him out for the last 15 months, pitched 5 2-3 strong innings on Saturday as Boston avoided a three-game sweep with a 9-3 victory.

Martinez allowed two runs on five hits and three walks, striking out six and left with the game tied at 2.

Pedro Martinez was baseball's best pitcher this season, compiling a 23-4 record and 2.07 ERA with 313 strikeouts to win the AL's triple crown of pitching. Heading into the playoffs, the Red Sox were considered a dangerous team only because Pedro was expected to win two games in a five-game series, and they only needed three.

But the younger Martinez couldn't win it for Boston in Game 1, leaving after four innings with a sprained back muscle. The Red Sox went on to lose 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Although the condition of his back has been a concern, it wouldn't really matter unless the team could stretch the series to five games. And, after losing Game 2 teeter on the brink of elimination, it didn't look like it would matter at all.

So even though Pedro had to abort a throwing session short before Game 3 on Saturday, throwing the ball about a dozen times before trainer Rich Zawacki told him to cut it off, it didn't have the impact it would if the Red Sox could force a Game 5.

Now, it looks like they might.


 
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