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Offerman Shines for Red Sox

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<i> From Associated Press</i>

One of the Boston Red Sox’s most criticized free-agent signings went out and stole the spotlight from one who got away.

Jose Offerman tripled to lead off the ninth inning and scored the winning run Saturday to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the New York Yankees at Boston, spoiling Roger Clemens’ first start at Fenway Park for the Yankees.

Offerman was given a four-year, $26-million contract last winter after Mo Vaughn left for the Angels, only to lose his starting job last week because of a batting and fielding slump. He reached base all five times up Saturday, getting two hits and three walks to end a five-week slide in which he batted .184.

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“What I did today is something that I’m supposed to do,” he said. “It’s easy to say, ‘They have to pay me anyway,’ but that’s not the way I see it.”

The Red Sox let Clemens go as a free agent in 1996 after 13 years in which he won the first three of his five Cy Young Awards and as many games in a Red Sox uniform as Young himself.

Clemens gave up four runs and five hits in five-plus innings. He struck out three and left with a 5-3 lead before Boston came back to win the game against the Yankee bullpen.

Seattle 5, Baltimore 2--Ken Griffey Jr. hit his league-leading 34th home run and Jamie Moyer gave up seven hits in eight innings at Seattle.

Cal Ripken failed for the fifth consecutive game to hit his 400th homer, but Griffey got his 384th against Sidney Ponson (9-7) in the first inning, an opposite-field shot to left field.

Moyer (10-5) gave up two runs in the second inning, but that was it.

Cleveland 13, Chicago 10--Roberto Alomar homered twice, Richie Sexson hit a three-run shot and rookie Russell Branyan drove in two runs with a key double as the Indians recovered after blowing a big lead at Cleveland.

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The Indians won their fifth in a row and opened a 14 1/2-game lead in the American League Central.

Toronto 7, Detroit 6--Shawn Green went two for four with a homer to extend his hitting streak to 28 games and Homer Bush had three hits and two RBIs for the Blue Jays at Toronto.

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