Clemens helps Astros continue roll

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roger Clemens' performance at the plate

overshadowed his dominance on the mound. As if the rest of the

National League didn't have enough to worry about.

Clemens hit a key RBI single in the fourth inning to go with

another stellar outing Sunday, leading the Houston Astros to a 6-1

victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Rocket got the second RBI of his career when he drove in

Brad Ausmus with a liner to right. Clemens' only other RBI came

June 20, 2002, against Colorado when he was with the New York

Yankees.

"It was great. I was babbling out there," Clemens said. "It's

not fun to do something that you don't do very well. I was just

trying to make contact and make things happen."

He also made things happen with his powerful right arm.

Clemens (3-0) struck out seven over seven innings in his third

start this season, giving up just one run and four hits to lead the

Astros to their seventh victory in eight games.

He earned his 313th win, moving within one of Gaylord Perry for

15th on the career list. So it's hard to believe the 41-year-old

Clemens ever called it quits -- albeit for only 78 days -- after last

season with the Yankees.

"He's still a superstar pitcher," Brewers manager Ned Yost

said. "He's got enough to be more than an above-average pitcher in

this league."

Milwaukee's Brady Clark ended Clemens' scoreless streak at 17

innings, knocking in Scott Podsednik with an RBI single in the

fourth. Otherwise, the day belonged to the Rocket.

Only two of his first 30 pitches were below 90 mph, and Clemens

retired the Brewers in order for the first three innings.

His two-out single in the fourth put the Astros up 3-1. Jason

Lane followed with a double and Adam Everett had a two-run triple

to make it 5-1.

"That hit by Clemens with two out was one of the keys to the

game," Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "When he gets a hit,

it's a bonus for us."

Plenty of other Houston hitters came through, too. The Astros

finished with a season-high 16 hits.

Ausmus homered in the second, and Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman

each had three hits and an RBI.

"We're swinging the bats well," Ausmus said. "But there will

be times when we won't and that's when these big horse pitchers

will have to step up and hold them to one run."

Clemens put on another masterful performance for the hometown

crowd. His final strikeout, against Brooks Kieschnick, drew a

standing ovation from the crowd of 38,195.

And then there's this: Clemens might be getting stronger.

"The thing that I'll take away from today's game ... was that I

didn't feel winded," he said.

Dan Miceli and Brad Lidge finished the six-hitter.

Chris Capuano (1-2) took the loss, giving up one run and two

hits in two innings. He left in the third with a left quadriceps

strain. Wes Obermueller allowed five runs and nine hits in just two

innings.

"Anytime I made a mistake, they didn't miss," Obermueller

said. "That's a potent lineup that they have."Game notes
Capuano is day-to-day after getting hurt while running out

a grounder in the third. He'll be evaluated by team doctors Monday.

He said he expects to be ready for his next start. "I knew it felt

strange," Capuano said, with his left thigh heavily wrapped. "It

was something I hadn't felt before." ... Ausmus homered for the

first time in 100 at-bats. It was, of course, his first of the

season. ... Milwaukee's Wes Helms is hitless in his last 14

at-bats. ... Clemens hadn't faced the Brewers since 1997 with

Toronto. He lost that game 1-0 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. ...

Berkman made an outstanding defensive play in the fifth, grabbing

Ben Grieve's hit that ricocheted off the left-field wall and

throwing Grieve out at second base.