Scores/Schedules Standings
Message board
Weekly lineup

  Saturday, May 6 1:05pm ET
Clemens now one win behind Gibson

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roger Clemens was waiting in the clubhouse when Mariano Rivera walked in and presented a prize: The game ball from the Rocket's 250th career win.

Clemens earned the milestone victory in vintage fashion, shutting down Baltimore for seven innings Saturday and pitching the New York Yankees to their sixth straight win, 3-1 over the Orioles.

Roger Clemens
Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens delivers in the first inning Saturday against the Orioles. It was a classic Clemens performance for his 250th career victory.

"It's just a good number to get to," Clemens said. "It's obviously a lot of wins. It tells you what you've been able to do over time."

A crowd of 54,350, the largest of the season at Yankee Stadium, saw the 37-year-old Clemens in complete command. He became the 39th pitcher to reach the mark, and now is one win behind Bob Gibson for 38th place.

Clemens is No. 1 among active pitchers, with Greg Maddux trailing at 225. Next up for Clemens -- an astute student of baseball history -- is win No. 300.

"It seems a long way off," he said. "It's another milestone to shoot for. If it happens, it does."

Clemens claimed that, for a bit, he lost track of where he was on wins list. "I had forgotten about it during the game, that it was my 250th," he said. "You don't think about those things on the mound."

Rivera came in after getting the save and gave the ball to Clemens. The souvenir was headed for a trophy case at home. "I'll put it up for a while for my kids, and then they'll play with it," Clemens said.

The Orioles lost their fourth in a row. New York improved to 7-0 in one-run games this season.

Clemens (3-2) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked two. Only once did the Orioles put two runners on base in an inning -- Rich Amaral doubled with two outs in the fifth and Delino DeShields followed with a double on a 3-0 pitch off diving first baseman Tino Martinez's glove.

Clemens often popped catcher Jorge Posada's mitt when he needed to make a big pitch and also had the Orioles chasing his split-finger fastballs in the dirt.

As always, he was active on the mound, shouting encouragement to his teammates and often running over to give them pats of congratulations.

"He's very animated. He tried to temper that last year. I didn't ask him to do that," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He was taking this team concept and trying to quiet it down. But we didn't trade for that guy."

Clemens, the only five-time Cy Young winner ever, is 250-136 in a career that began with Boston in 1984 and later took him to Toronto. Clemens won consecutive starts for the first time this season.

Mike Stanton pitched the eighth inning and Rivera worked the ninth for his 11th save.

A day after the Yankees rallied past Baltimore for a wild, 12-10 win, Clemens and Pat Rapp (3-2) brought pitching back to the park.

"As ugly and sloppy as last night's game was, today was crisp and the way baseball should be played," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said.

Rapp allowed four hits through seven innings, and left in the eighth after Derek Jeter doubled with one out and Martinez hit his second double of the day with two outs. Rapp fell to 0-4 against the Yankees.

The Orioles threatened in the ninth against Rivera. Harold Baines singled with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Brady Anderson, and Jeff Conine walked with two outs.

Seldom-used Greg Myers struck out looking on three pitches for the final out. That left Myers 1-for-15 this year and prompted this question: Did Hargrove consider holding back Anderson as a possible left-handed pinch-hitter to face Rivera?

"Why would I do that?" Hargrove said. "Myers is hitting .429 (3-for-7) off Rivera. If you're going to second-guess me, you have to do better than that."

The Yankees scored in the second when Bernie Williams led off with a double and Posada hit a one-out double off the left-center field wall. The previous night, Posada hit a game-winning, three-run homer in the ninth.

Williams, who also hit a three-run homer Friday night, drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and Martinez followed with a double, ending his 0-for-12 slump.

After Posada struck out, Shane Spencer hit a sacrifice fly. Left fielder B.J. Surhoff caught the ball despite colliding with the rarely used Amaral in left-center.

Notes: Torre's win was his 1,314th, moving him past Ned Hanlon into 24th place on the career list. ... Williams extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Yankees relievers have not allowed a home run in the last 44 1-3 innings. ... Orioles catcher Charles Johnson got the day off after playing Friday night. He's in a 7-for-42 skid.

Baseball Scoreboard

Baltimore Clubhouse

NY Yankees Clubhouse

Tampa Bay 1
Boston 0

NY Yankees 3
Baltimore 1

Cleveland 8
Toronto 6

Seattle 1
Anaheim 0

Minnesota 6
Detroit 1

Kansas City 11
Chi. White Sox 5

Texas 11
Oakland 10

St. Louis 3
Cincinnati 1

Montreal 3
Milwaukee 2

Pittsburgh 11
Chicago Cubs 9

San Francisco 6
Colorado 0

Arizona 10
San Diego 5

Florida 9
NY Mets 1

Philadelphia 6
Atlanta 0

Los Angeles 9
Houston 6

 Roger Clemens comments on his 250th carrer win.
wav: 94 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6