Injuries: AL | NL
  Weekly Lineup
  Message Board
  Minor Leagues
  MLB Stat Search


Sport Sections
  Sunday, May 28 8:05pm ET
Martinez tops Clemens in heavyweight duel

NEW YORK (AP) -- One little mistake was all it took to settle Sunday night's classic pitchers' duel between Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.

Locked in a scoreless battle that had the look and feel of October about it, Clemens came up with a pitch to Trot Nixon and that was all it took for Boston to beat New York 2-0.

Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martinez, who struck out nine, got into trouble in the ninth when he hit Chuck Knoblauch and Jorge Posada.
Nixon hit it into the right-field bleachers in the ninth inning, and then Martinez (8-2) survived a bases-loaded jam to complete the four-hit shutout. His brother, Ramon, was the first one out of the dugout to congratulate him.

Clemens (4-5), working on a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts, had two outs in the ninth when Jeff Frye hit a ball up the middle that glanced off the pitcher, hitting him first in the palm of his glove and then bouncing off his stomach for an infield hit. That brought up Nixon, who had tripled in the seventh.

"It was a fastball up," Clemens said. "I'd like to elevate it letter high. He got it. You don't want to walk anybody in that position."

Nixon hit the 2-1 pitch for his sixth home run of the season.

"He got the ball up over the plate and I got good wood on it," he said. "His ball was starting to come up. I sensed it was coming up. It was a classic battle and Roger made a mistake."

It was a mistake Martinez (8-2) did not want to repeat.

He had retired 10 straight hitters and had a three-hitter going into the ninth. But he hit Chuck Knoblauch leading off and then Derek Jeter followed with his third hit.

Martinez, who lowered his ERA to 1.05, admitted he was running on fumes.

"I felt a little exhausted," he said. "My chest was hurting a little bit and I was coughing a lot. I tried to crank it up a little."

He struck out Paul O'Neill but then Bernie Williams sent Nixon to the warning track in right field for his long fly ball. The Yankees thought it might be going out, but Martinez wasn't worried.

"I knew he didn't hit it good enough," he said.

Now with two out, he hit Jorge Posada to load the bases. But, with the tying runs in scoring position, Tino Martinez bounced out, ending it.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't do what Roger did," Martinez said. "He made a mistake that cost him the game, one little mistake. I hit two guys ahead on the count because I didn't want to make that mistake. I wanted to hit my spots."

For his part, Clemens enjoyed the duel with the Cy Young winner.

"It was very exciting," he said. "The intensity was like it should be. It was a fun game, not like some 12-10 game. You don't want to be in those."

The Yankees had chances early. Twice, they got their leadoff men on base. Shane Spencer led off the third with a walk but Martinez got the next three hitters. In the fourth, Jeter opened with a double but never moved off second base as Martinez retired the next three hitters.

Clemens had faced the minimum 18 hitters through six innings, allowing just two hits but erasing both runners. Carl Everett was picked off in the second inning and John Valentin was caught stealing in the sixth.

Then in the seventh, Nixon tripled with one out for Boston. The Yankees played the infield in but Clemens escaped the jam by striking out Brian Daubach and Nomar Garciaparra.

Last October, in the American League playoffs, Martinez and the Red Sox beat Clemens 13-1. It was New York's only postseason loss en route to their second straight World Series championship.

Game notes
Martinez has not lost consecutive games since September, 1998, when he dropped three in a row. ... His 1-0 loss against Tampa Bay on May 6, when he struck out 17, ended a 13-game winning streak for the Cy Young winner. ... The Yankees receive their 1999 World Series rings before Monday's game against Oakland. ... Plate umpire Ed Rapuano was struck on the right knee by Ricky Ledee's foul ball in the fifth inning and left the game in the top of the sixth, replaced by Brian Runge, who moved from first base. ... His 13 strikeouts marked the 95th time in Clemens' career that he has struck out 10 or more in a game, fourth on the career list.


Baseball Scoreboard

Boston Clubhouse

NY Yankees Clubhouse

Baseball in the Big Apple

Toronto 12
Detroit 7

Tampa Bay 14
Seattle 4

Oakland 0
Baltimore 0

Cleveland 12
Chi. White Sox 3

Anaheim 8
Kansas City 4

Minnesota 4
Texas 3

Boston 2
NY Yankees 0

Florida 3
Cincinnati 1

NY Mets 6
St. Louis 2

Colorado 11
Pittsburgh 2

Houston 4
Atlanta 3

San Diego 4
Montreal 3

Chicago Cubs 4
San Francisco 1

Philadelphia 4
Los Angeles 2

Milwaukee 4
Arizona 3