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For starting pitchers, a good day at Fenway

Published Sep. 13, 2005

Pedro Martinez held off the Texas Rangers on Sunday, giving up only five hits and striking out nine _ on a day when the opposing pitcher, Darren Oliver, also had a good day, holding Boston to two runs.

"There aren't too many 2-1 games in Fenway Park, but two good pitchers had good stuff," Texas manager Johnny Oates said. "The best hitters fail 70 percent of the time. Imagine what would happen if my doctor was like that."

Martinez had allowed just three earned runs in 32 innings over his first four games. But, suffering from gastritis in his previous two starts, he gave up eight earned runs in 11 innings.

On Sunday, in his first career start against the Rangers, he just missed his 19th 10-strikeout game in his past 29 _ and raised his AL-leading total to 66.

"I just faced them like any other team," Martinez said. "If I have my stuff, I'll take the challenge against anybody. They're a great offensive team."

BLUE JAYS: Carlos Delgado, activated April 24 after Jan. 19 arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, drove in three runs in a 6-3 win over Oakland to double his season total. He had a two-run homer in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the seventh. Former Toronto pitcher Dave Stieb struck out eight in eight innings, allowing five hits in his first Triple-A win of the season as the Syracuse SkyChiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 5-2 in the International League. Stieb (1-1) trailed 2-1 after walking Keith Johns with two outs in the eighth and allowing Patrick Bryant's bad-hop double. But the SkyChiefs rallied for four runs in the bottom half. Stieb, who is attempting a comeback at 40, was thrilled by the late offense. "After that mistake (the walk to Johns) it would have been terrible to lose."

ROYALS: Manager Tony Muser, ejected for arguing with umpire Brian O'Nora on Saturday, got into a heated discussion with O'Nora and crew chief Don Denkinger on Sunday, delaying the start of the game with the Yankees. Pitcher Kevin Appier, on the DL since shoulder surgery March 24, will be examined today and hopes to begin rehab on Tuesday, ahead of schedule.

ANGELS: Chuck Finley, hit in his pitching elbow by a Chad Kreuter liner Saturday, has only a bruise and not a break, X-rays showed. The left-hander is day-to-day.