Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, May 31
Houston1Final
Chi Cubs3
Game 2: Tuesday, June 1
Houston5Final
Chi Cubs3
Game 3: Wednesday, June 2
Houston5Final
in 10
Chi Cubs1

Astros 5

(29-23, 14-10 away)

Cubs 1

(27-25, 14-11 home)

2:20 PM ET, June 2, 2004

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

R H E
HOU - -
CHC - -

W: R. Clemens (8-0)

L: M. Clement (6-4)

Rocket still unbeaten, wins first at Wrigley

CHICAGO (AP) -- One of baseball's most celebrated pitchers earned his first victory at one of the game's most storied parks.

Roger Clemens won at Wrigley Field and kept his perfect season intact Wednesday, pitching the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

"When you have an opportunity to pitch in this type of setting, regardless of how you feel, you want to make the appearance because people come from all over to watch you perform," Clemens said.

"I enjoy hearing the fans around the stadium, the things they say," he said.

Clemens (8-0) came back from three straight no-decisions with seven sharp innings to earn his 318th career victory, tying Phil Niekro for the 14th place on the all-time list.

Clemens' only other start at Wrigley came last June when he pitched for the Yankees in search of his 300th win. He wound up taking the loss when the Cubs rallied against New York's bullpen.

His appearance a year later certainly wasn't as emotionally charged, but he enjoyed it just the same.

"It's a totally different situation and atmosphere. I had a respiratory problem, too, there. I felt a lot better about my health out there today," said Clemens, who wore short sleeves and blew on his hands during a cool, 60-degree afternoon.

Clemens has won 12 straight regular-season decisions since Aug. 9.

Not bad for a 41-year-old, who came out of a short retirement in the offseason.

"I'm not too worried about streaks. I think they're great because we're winning," Clemens said. "I don't put a lot of stock into them. I know that they could change at any time. So you want to try and ride them."

Clemens allowed one run -- on a broken-bat single -- and five hits in seven innings Wednesday. He struck out five and walked two in his 108-pitch outing.

"This is a special time. I think we have to appreciate -- those of us who really like baseball, whether you pull for the Astros or not -- just to see what he is doing," Astros manager Jimy Williams said.

Houston broke a 1-all tie in the fifth when Jeff Kent extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a two-out triple off the right-field wall and Lance Berkman singled off Matt Clement (6-4).

It was Berkman's 18th RBI in his last 15 games, and he has now reached base in 33 straight.

Adam Everett and Brad Ausmus had three hits each against Clement, who allowed 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Houston outhit Chicago 13-6 and sent the Cubs to their seventh loss in nine games.

"The fun of it is getting to pitch against somebody like Roger Clemens, as good as he is right now," Clement said.

"It's a challenge and he was a little bit more up to the challenge. ... He threw it like he's been throwing it all year. He's tough to beat right now."

The Astros tacked on two runs in the seventh after Everett got his second bunt single. Berkman walked with two outs and Michael Lamb and Ausmus followed with RBI singles to finish Clement.

Richard Hidalgo drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth off Cubs reliever Michael Wuertz.

Derrek Lee doubled in the fourth for Chicago's second hit, stole third and after Aramis Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch, Todd Hollandsworth delivered a two-out, broken-bat single to tie the game.

"You're talking about one of the greatest out there," Hollandsworth said of Clemens.

"He is what he is and you see what he is doing at his age, it's incredible."

The Astros pushed across a run in the first when Everett's fly ball down the left-field line fell in front of Moises Alou for a double. Everett moved to third on an infield out and scored when Clement threw a ball four wild pitch to Kent. ^Notes:@ Clemens moved ahead of Christy Mathewson for the second-best winning percentage among pitchers with 300 victories (318-160, .665). Clemens trails only Lefty Grove (300-141, .680). ... Clemens' career best start to a season came in 1986 with the Red Sox when he was 14-0. Houston's club record is 10-0 set by Juan Agosto in 1988. ... Rey Ordonez, just called up from Triple-A last week, was in Chicago's lineup at shortstop and had a fifth-inning double off Clemens. He entered the game with a .438 average against Clemens with seven hits in 16 at-bats. ... The Astros won two of three at Wrigley and have beaten the Cubs four times in five meetings this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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