The Curse of the Bambino is over, at least for Pedro Martinez.
Martinez won for the first time since last May 30, pitching six strong innings Sunday to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Baltimote Orioles 4-1.
Coming off a season shortened to 18 starts by shoulder pain and an awful appearance on opening day, Martinez allowed one unearned run and three hits, struck out five and walked one. Shea Hillenbrand backed him with a pair of two-run homers.
"I hope that everyone chills now. I'm not 100 percent strong yet, but I'll get there," he declared.
Martinez had been winless in his previous eight starts since beating the New York Yankees 3-0. That was the night he brought up the famous curse against the Red Sox, saying, "Wake up the Bambino. Maybe I'll drill him in the (behind)."
Boston hasn't won the World Series since 1918, and some attribute the absence of a title to the team's sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920.
In other games it was New York 7, Tampa Bay 2; Oakland 6, Seattle 5; Cleveland 5, Detroit 1; Minnesota 10, Toronto 6; and Kansas City 9, Chicago 2. Anaheim's game at Texas was postponed by rain.
At Camden Yards, Martinez allowed only one runner past second base and retired his final seven batters. Martinez threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes, in lowering his ERA from 21.00 to 7.00.
"I'm pretty pleased with how everything went. I made some adjustments today and felt like I was more consistent with everything," he said. "I felt better. Now I'll just continue to work on everything."
Baltimore has lost five straight, scoring only four runs during that span. Ugueth Urbina pitched the ninth to earn his third save, all in this series. Calvin Maduro (0-1) was the loser.
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