ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The
Boston Red Sox
's dominant September leads to a successful October.
Martinez tossed three scoreless innings in his final start of the regular season and
homered as the
rolled to a 7-2 victory over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Martinez won each of his first four September starts, allowing just three runs and 17 hits while striking out 35 in 30 innings. He was equally effective on Friday but did not pitch long enough to record his 15th victory.
In this one, Martinez allowed just two hits and struck out two but left after throwing just 51 pitches. He will not pitch again until Game One of the American League Division Series against the
clinched the AL wild card on Thursday, their first postseason berth since 1999.
Ramirez played only three innings but belted a two-run homer off
(6-11) in the first as Boston jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Kapler hit a leadoff shot in the sixth and the
held on for their 10th win in 13 games.
"Tonight, everything went smoothly,"
manager Grady Little said. "We got to work in everyone we wanted to work in and we were also able to win the game."
reached 95 wins for the first time since 1986 - the team's last World Series appearance - and are 30 games over .500 for the first time since 1995.
(12-9) took over for Martinez and got the victory despite yielding two runs and four hits in three innings.
"Pedro took care of me again," Burkett said. "I made some adjustments sand was able to keep the ball down and everything went well. All in all it was a good deal."
"He did fine," Little said. "He went a little short in his last start and we just wanted to get him some work."
are going in the opposite direction, losing 14 of their last 17 games. They need to win their final two games to avoid losing 100 games.
"It's a number. Would it be nice to avoid it? Yes," Tampa Bay manager
said. "We've struggled the last two weeks. Our tanks are empty. With all these young kids we were concerned about September."
Boston pulled away with three runs off Gonzalez in the fourth inning.
hit a leadoff double and, after Kapler walked with one out, scored on a single by
pinch hit for
with the bases loaded two batters later and delivered a base hit to plate Kapler and Brown for a 5-0 cushion.
homered against Burkett with two outs in the fourth to spoil Boston's shutout bid.