for this game

Clemens has soild debut as Yankees win fifth straight

Jun 9, 2007 - 11:10 PM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Roger Clemens has rejoined the New York Yankees just in time to see what potentially might be their turnaround from an ugly start.

In his highly anticipated debut, Clemens pitched six solid innings as the Yankees extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 9-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

The Yankees were 14-15 on May 6 when Clemens (1-0) made his dramatic announcement at Yankee Stadium that he was returning. While the seven-time Cy Young Award winner worked through his three minor league starts, New York slipped to 21-29 and 14 1/2 games behind the rival Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

That was on May 29 following a 3-2 loss at the Toronto Blue Jays. Since then, the Yankees have won eight of 10 and shaved 4 1/2 games off their deficit.

"It's a great ballclub, just not a good ballclub, a great ballclub," Clemens said. "I'm here to help anyway I can."

New York has heated up in part due to effective starting pitching and Clemens' return to the mound at Yankee Stadium continued that positive trend.

"We're starting to get the belief that the outcome is starting to be in our favor," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said.

The 44-year-old righthander showed some rust early, allowing three runs and five hits but also appeared to get stronger towards the end of his outing. After giving up a two-run double to Jack Wilson that tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning, he retired the final seven hitters he faced before giving way to Brian Bruney.

"It was good for him to be out there and get the first one out of the way," New York captain Derek Jeter said. "His control probably wasn't what he wanted it to be but he made a lot of pretty good pitches."

"It was enjoyable, but you sort of became a fan," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "You wanted it to be good and you sort of take yourself out of the manager's spot and you know you're going to commit to him for 100 pitches, five innings, six innings, because you know you trust him. He knows what he's doing and I was glad we got the positive result. It's exciting anytime he goes out and takes the mound."

The future Hall of Famer was originally slated to return Monday at the Chicago White Sox but missed the start with a groin injury. As he drove to Yankee Stadium on Saturday morning, Clemens stated that how his body would hold up was his primary concern.

"I knew that if my body held up, I could give Joe a 100 or 120-pitch performance," Clemens said. "I think that with each start that I go through now, I expect to get stronger."

Clemens threw 69 of 108 pitches for strikes, striking out seven and issuing one walk. His afternoon ended with consecutive strikeouts to Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady.

"He was great," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said. "(He had) a great splitty (splitter). I thought everything was good. We got on the same page real quick and I knew exactly what he wanted to do and for me it was good to see what I saw."

The Pirates saw Clemens three times last season when he was with the Houston Astros, and one difference they noticed was that a cut fastball had been included in his arsenal of pitches.

"Last year, he was not throwing his cutter," said Pittsburgh catcher Ronny Paulino, who struck out twice in three at-bats. "(It) was more like fastball and sliders (he was throwing last year)."

"I thought we did an adequate job of taking the kind of at-bats we needed (against him)," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "To his credit, he got big outs when he needed to."

After using his splitter to retire Nady, Clemens exited to a standing ovation from the crowd of 54,296 at Yankee Stadium and also shook hands with his teammates and coaches in the dugout.

"I heard them," Clemens said. "It plays to your advantage when you're at home, there's no doubt you can hear the fans here. It felt like old times. It's extremely loud."

By the time Bruney took the mound, he had a three-run lead to work with. The Yankees went ahead in the fifth on Posada's sacrifice fly and tacked on two runs in the sixth.

After Melky Cabrera's walk knocked out Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm (2-9), Johnny Damon lined a single off John Grabow. Following a double steal, Jeter walked to load the bases.

Bobby Abreu followed with a single to right field, scoring Cabrera. Rodriguez made it 6-3 with a sacrifice fly.

After the Yankees built a three-run lead, Bruney worked a hitless seventh as Cabrera provided some help in center field. He took away a potential home run from Wilson with a leaping catch just in front of the center field wall and recorded the second out before Chris Duffy and Jose Bautista walked.

But Bruney wiggled out of trouble as he struck out Freddy Sanchez and the Yankees added two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to round out the scoring.

Robinson Cano finished with three hits and Rodriguez drove in a pair for New York, which finished with 11 hits in scoring five or more runs for the fifth straight contest.

"We're playing well and we're feeling good about ourselves," Torre said. "I think with Roger going out there we sort of felt we were going to try and do anything we could to help him."

Kyle Farnsworth pitched a hitless eighth and Luis Vizcaino finished up as the Yankees won for the fifth time in as many games against the Pirates.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead off Clemens in the first as Jose Bautista lined a single to right, took second on a wild pitch and scored on LaRoche's two-out single.

The Yankees struck with three in the bottom half as they capitalized on some shaky Pittsburgh defense. They tied the game on Rodriguez's RBI groundout and took a 2-1 lead when Posada singled to left.

Jeter would have been out at the plate on the play, but catcher Ronny Paulino misplayed Jason Bay's relay throw for an error.

"The most disappointing thing is defensively we didn't play well today," Tracy said. "When you do that against a club like that with that lineup, that's not good."

After Hideki Matsui walked, Cano reached on a single that deflected off the grass and bounced up out of Wilson's reach at shortstop.

Maholm surrendered five runs - three earned - and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He was dealt his fifth straight defeat and also joined St. Louis' Kip Wells as the second nine-game loser in the major leagues.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 2
    NY YANKEES 3 0 0 0 1 2 2 1 x 9 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM, JOHN GRABOW (6TH), TONY ARMAS (7TH) AND RONNY
    PAULINO
    NYY - ROGER CLEMENS, BRIAN BRUNEY (7TH), KYLE
    FARNSWORTH (8TH), LUIS VIZCAINO (9TH) AND JO

    Jun 9 4:25 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 9 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.272, 2-FOR-4, RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 4:12 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED MELKY CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DAMON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.333, 1-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 3:46 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JASON BAY ALLOWED ROBINSON CANO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CABRERA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.265, 2-FOR-4)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 3:43 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B ABREU ON FIRST, D JETER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.360, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 3:17 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BOBBY ABREU SCORED MELKY CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ABREU ON FIRST, D JETER ON SECOND, J DAMON
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.300, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 3:16 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JORGE POSADA SCORED DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, B ABREU ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.280, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 2:49 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JACK WILSON SCORED XAVIER NADY AND RONNY PAULINO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J WILSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    NY YANKEES 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: C DUFFY (.238, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 2:20 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JACK WILSON ALLOWED JORGE POSADA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R CANO ON SECOND, H MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J PHELPS (.268, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 1:31 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J POSADA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.282, 6 HR, 30 RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 1:28 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JETER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.359, 7 HR, 39 RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 1:26 PM


  • ML
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 0
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM
    NYY - ROGER CLEMENS

    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.260, 3 HR, 19 RBI)
    D JETER (.332, 4 HR, 31 RBI)
    B ABREU (.256, 3 HR, 27 RBI)

    Pirates vs. YankeesJun 9 1:18 PM