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American League Roundup : Clemens Shuts Out Seattle, 3-0, With a 3-Hitter After Early Injury Scare

Roger Clemens overcame an injury scare to pitch his second consecutive three-hit shutout, while striking out 10, in the Red Sox’s 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners Saturday at Boston.

Clemens, who felt something pop in his right knee before the second inning, improved his record to 6-1 to put himself more than five weeks ahead of last season’s pace when he finished fast to win 20.

Pitching without his best fastball, Clemens was supported by three double plays that helped preserve his fourth shutout in nine starts.

His only problem was wildness. After yielding just five walks in his previous 52 innings, Clemens walked five Mariners. It was the first time in his last 32 starts that the hard-throwing right-hander had walked more than four batters in a game.

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“I popped it (his knee) in the dugout before I went out for the second inning,” he said. “It’s a little sore, but I’m not going to dwell on it. I had to pitch. I knew I didn’t have my extreme fastball, so I pitched today.”

Clemens, getting behind in the count to more hitters than he usually does, needed 144 pitches to dispose of the Mariners.

When he walked Ken Phelps on four pitches to start the second inning, Manager John McNamara rushed out to the mound. Clemens said he was all right. The Red Sox team doctor checked the knee between innings and allowed him to pitch.

Sam Horn’s second home run in two games gave Clemens all the support he needed as he outpitched Scott Bankhead. Bankhead pitched a strong six innings in his first game since shoulder surgery last October, striking out eight.

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It was Clemens’ 14th career shutout in 113 starts and his seventh three-hitter. Clemens, who leads the majors with 93 strikeouts in 76 innings, has struck out 10 or more six times in his nine starts.

“It just shows you what a great pitcher he is,” catcher Rick Cerone said. “He got behind more hitters than he wanted to and he was having problems keeping the ball down. So, he went mostly with his No. 1 pitch, which is his fastball.”

Minnesota 7, Detroit 0--Les Straker, not regarded as one of the Twins’ top pitchers, gave his club a lift in this game at Detroit.

The 29-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits in pitching his first nine-inning shutout and giving the Twins only their fourth road win in 15 games.

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Straker is often the Twin starter of last resort. He came off the disabled list May 4 and pitched five innings at Baltimore, giving up one hit and an unearned run.

“I had nine days when I didn’t pitch,” Straker said. “I got sick and then came back and pitched a shutout. That was nice.

“I didn’t know if my arm would go more than seven (innings) coming off the injury. My arm feels good after throwing just 107 pitches.”

Kent Hrbek drove in three runs as the Twins scored 6 runs on 9 hits off Frank Tanana in 4 innings.

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Cleveland 6, Milwaukee 4--After a dismal start, the Indians are enjoying their longest trip of the season. They lost the first five games, then won five in a row, the last three at Milwaukee.

Joe Carter singled in the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning, and an error by shortstop Dale Sveum on a bases-loaded grounder contributed to a three-run sixth.

John Farrell (4-2) was the winner but needed help from three relievers. Bill Laskey, who had a 9.00 earned-run average, retired the last five batters, two on strikes, to get his first save.

Oakland 8, Baltimore 0--Bob Welch is looking better and better to the Athletics. The former Dodger right-hander pitched 4 hitless innings at Baltimore before settling for a five-hit shutout.

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Welch (6-2) went the distance for the first time in nine starts to win his fifth in a row. In his last three starts, he has given up only three runs in 24 innings.

Mark McGwire and Dave Parker hit three-run home runs for the A’s, and the Orioles’ Mike Boddicker (0-8) lost his 13th in a row going back to last season.

Texas 6, Kansas City 3--Mike Stanley hit a two-run home run, and Jeff Russell, in his first start of the season, pitched well at Arlington, Tex., as the Rangers extended their winning streak to eight games.

It is the third time the Rangers have won eight in a row. They did it in 1976 and ’79.

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Russell (2-0) went 7 innings before Dale Mohorcic and Mitch Williams took over. Williams, who retired the side in the ninth for his ninth save, struck out two Royals.

Chicago 7, Toronto 5--Light-hitting Fred Manique hit a three-run home run at Chicago and drove in another White Sox run with a bunt single. The homer was his seventh in 401 at-bats.

Chicago’s Dave LaPoint (4-2) gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings.


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