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Pedro Martinez said he knew this day would come. It was only a matter of when.

"After I spent a couple years in Montreal I figured I'd get 20 wins eventually. I just needed a little more support, experience and a few breaks," he said after leading the Boston Red Sox over the Seattle Mariners, 4-0, Saturday.

Martinez (20-4) became the first 20-game winner in the major leagues this season and kept the Red Sox one game ahead of Oakland in the AL wild-card race. He is Boston's first 20-game winner since Roger Clemens went 21-6 in 1990.

"It's a level that every pitcher dreams about," Martinez said. "It's something I'll always remember. It's a little bit sweeter knowing that we lost and Oakland won yesterday. I'm more concerned about our record than the 20 wins."

Martinez allowed two hits in eight innings, walked three and struck out 15, reaching double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season and the 50th time in his career. He is the first right-hander with five games with 15 or more strikeouts in one season since Nolan Ryan did it six times in 1974.

Martinez gave up a first-inning infield single to Raul Ibanez and a third-inning double to David Bell. Red Sox manager Jimy Williams didn't let Martinez pitch the ninth, bringing in Rod Beck, who completed a three-hitter that stopped Seattle's five-game winning streak.

"He was right about 130 pitches and just off the disabled list," Williams said.

Martinez, who won a career-high 19 games for Boston last year, improved to 4-0 against Seattle in his career with a 0.93 ERA.

"Today was like a normal game," Martinez said. "I've been in command of my game the whole season with a couple of exceptions."

Nomar Garciaparra homered for the second straight game following an 111-at-bat homerless streak, giving him 20 homers this season.

Paul Abbott (5-2) didn't allow a runner until Garciaparra's leadoff homer in the fifth.

"The one pitch Nomar hit was hit pretty hard," said Abbott, making just his 25th career start. "It really shows what type of power he has. Other than that, the balls were just falling in."

Abbott gave up all four runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Strawberry blossoms for Yanks

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Darryl Strawberry didn't care that his first hit of the season was a fluke.

Strawberry, back following colon cancer surgery and a 113-day suspension stemming from a drug-related arrest, went 2 for 3 and had two steals as the New York Yankees beat Anaheim, 9-6.

Ricky Ledee, who threw a runner out at home in the eighth, hit a tie-breaking, two-run triple in the ninth for the Yankees.

Strawberry, who was 0 for 2 in two games since being called up Wednesday, singled with some help from the sun. He hit a high pop-up to shallow left that Angels' outfielder Darin Erstad lost in the glare, allowing it to drop.

"Sometimes it takes what it takes to get that first hit," Strawberry said. "It kind of reminds me of when you're in a slump and you're not getting hits, and all of a sudden, you get lucky and get one.

"It feels good to be back, to get some at-bats and really start to feel comfortable."

New York manager Joe Torre also is happy about it.

"It's nice to have him back; it's been a terrible year for him. Hopefully it's all behind him," Torre said.

Around the horn

Rookie Tim Hudson (9-1) pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game as the Athletics edged the Tigers, 2-1. Scott Spiezio doubled off Francisco Cordero (1-1) to start the bottom of the ninth. Miguel Tejada sacrificed and rookie Ramon Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to center. Gabe Kapler's throw home was slightly off line, and catcher Brad Ausmus couldn't hang on to the ball as Spiezio slid home safely. . . . Doug Linton (1-2) won for the first time since defeating Seattle for Kansas City on Sept. 11, 1996, and Jeff Conine hit a go-ahead double in the sixth off Bartolo Colon (15-5) as the Orioles beat the Indians, 3-1. . . . Herbert Perry homered and sparked a six-run seventh as the Devil Rays bombed the Twins, 11-3. . . . Liu Rodriguez's two-run single off Esteban Loaiza (7-3) gave Chicago a 5-3 lead in a seven-run seventh, and the White Sox stopped a five-game losing streak by beating the Rangers, 12-3. . . . Carlos Delgado hit his 40th homer and went 4-for-4 as the Blue Jays beat the Royals, 6-3, in a game shortened to eight innings by rain.

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