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Sunday, May 28 8:05pm ET
Martinez tops Clemens in heavyweight duel
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.
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.
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."
"I knew he didn't hit it good enough," he said.
"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.
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.
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