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Clemens (4-0) picks up career win No. 297

4/24/2003

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Roger Clemens is quickly closing in on
300 wins.

Clemens held Anaheim to five hits over eight innings to earn his
297th win as the New York Yankees beat the Angels 9-2 Wednesday
night.

"Roger's the last of a dying breed, to remain a power pitcher
for that long," New York manager Joe Torre said. "He's always
thinking of the next challenge."

Clemens, who turns 41 on Aug. 4, improved to 4-0 in five starts.
The 40-year right-hander said he sometimes feels his age.

"There are days I feel old, and days when you can't think about
it, you've just got to go out there and put those little nagging
things aside and get some people out," said Clemens, who gave up
the two runs, struck out six and walked none. "I've been able to
pitch when I've had OK stuff, and power pitch when I know I feel
good out there, so it's a direct result of what I do behind the
scenes. It's paid off."

Torre admires Clemens' work ethic.

"His conditioning is probably a big reason why he's only a few
wins away from 300," the manager said. "He's a tremendous
competitor. When he came over here, you have a chance to enjoy his
childlike enthusiasm and his passion for the game. This is the
stuff you don't know about when you're on the other side."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was on the other side as the
Yankees got their second straight one-sided victory over the
defending World Series champions, who eliminated New York in the
first round of the playoffs last fall.

"I don't care how old a guy is, when he pitches like that, he's
tough to beat," Scioscia said.

New York outhit Anaheim 18-5. Alfonso Soriano led off the game
with a homer and went 4-for-5. Jorge Posada hit a two-run homer and
had two RBI singles. Raul Mondesi also hit a two-run homer as New
York won its seventh straight, equaling the club's longest streak
last year.

New York has outhomered opponents 43-5 -- hitting the most in the
major leagues and allowing the fewest. The Yankees have as many
homers as Detroit has runs.

Clemens' performance gave the New York rotation a 16-0 start to
the season, the longest winning streak by a staff to begin a season
in major league history. The longest winning streak by a starting
staff overall is 23 in a row by the 1916 New York Giants.

A six-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens needs three more wins
to become the 21st player with 300 victories. The last to reach the
milestone was Nolan Ryan, on July 31, 1990.

Mickey Callaway (1-2) gave up six runs _ four earned _ and 10
hits in 4 2-3 innings, allowing all three homers.

The Yankees' Jason Giambi, hit on the left hand by a pitch by
Scott Schoeneweis in the seventh inning, was replaced by Todd Zeile
at first base in the bottom of the eighth. Torre said Giambi came
out of the game as a precautionary move, and that X-rays weren't
necessary.

Soriano hit Callaway's fourth pitch of the game into the seats
in left field for his eighth homer. It was the third time this year
he's led off the game with a homer, the 11th time in his career.

After Callaway walked Bernie Williams leading off the third
inning, one of four walks he allowed, Posada followed one out later
with his seventh homer.

Mondesi hit his sixth homer in the fifth inning after Callaway
dropped the toss from first baseman Scott Spiezio on Robin
Ventura's grounder up the line, an error on what would have been
the third out.

Game notes
During a workout at the Yankees' training camp in Florida,
SS Derek Jeter threw to first base Wednesday for the first time
since dislocating his left shoulder. Jeter is set to begin swinging
a bat Friday as he works his way back from the injury he sustained
in the team's opener on March 31. ... Yankees RHP Antonio Osuna
joined fellow relievers Mariano Rivera and Steve Karsay on the
disabled list Wednesday, a day after straining his right groin.
Osuna, acquired from the Chicago White Sox during the offseason,
was hurt in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game while making a
pitch. ... The Yankees purchased the contract of 33-year-old RHP Al
Reyes from Triple-A Columbus. To clear a spot for Reyes on the
40-man roster, New York transferred RHP Jon Lieber to the 60-day
disabled list from the 15-day DL. ... Anaheim RHP Francisco
Rodriguez left the team on Wednesday to return to Venezuela to
attend his grandmother's funeral. He is expected to return this
weekend. ... The Angels called up LHP Rich Rodriguez, a 40-year-old
reliever, from Salt Lake, and he gave up one run on three hits in 1
1-3 innings. The Angels sent OF Julio Ramirez to the Triple-A Salt
Lake.

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