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.
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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 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
|Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens delivers in the first inning Saturday against the Orioles. It was a classic Clemens performance for his 250th career victory.||
NY Yankees Clubhouse
Tampa Bay 1
NY Yankees 3
Kansas City 11
Chi. White Sox 5
St. Louis 3
Chicago Cubs 9
San Francisco 6
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Los Angeles 9
Roger Clemens comments on his 250th carrer win.
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