Clemens clamps Marlins
New York The only one who got hit by a fast ball Friday night was Roger Clemens.
Clemens, pitching for the first time since beaning Mike Piazza, kept in control after being drilled by a line drive as the New York Yankees beat Florida, 6-2.
Clemens' right forearm was swollen and bandaged after Paul Bako's liner hit him in the fourth inning. There was no visible effect, however, from what happened with Piazza.
"That's history. I'd rather not talk about that," Clemens said. "I felt awful about it. But my skin's pretty thick."
Clemens came close to just one Marlins batter in winning his third straight start.
In the opening inning, he backed away Preston Wilson with a waist-high fastball. Wilson wound up walking in that at-bat, and hit a two-run homer his next time up.
"I don't know that I've been doing enough, as far as pitching inside," Clemens said. "But you have to pitch inside to be successful."
Bernie Williams and David Justice hit consecutive home runs in the first inning off All-Star Ryan Dempster and Ryan Thompson later connected for a three-run shot. The Marlins had won three in a row.
Clemens (7-6) had been caught in a swirl of controversy since hitting Piazza in the helmet with a fastball last Saturday night, giving the Mets catcher a concussion and knocking him out of the final two games of the Subway Series and the All-Star game.
Piazza and the Mets claimed it was intentional, Clemens and the Yankees insisted it was an accident. Either way, the Rocket had been portrayed by many "like he was some kind of ogre," New York manager Joe Torre said.
"Today, I thought he was a little anxious going out there. Some of that may have been an effect of what happened," Torre said.
Clemens pitched seven innings and allowed seven hits, striking out four and walking three. He has won three in a row for the first time since last season.
"There wasn't anything that Roger did tonight that would've raised any comment," Marlins manager John Boles said.
Clemens is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined by a strained groin. His 254th victory moved into a tie with Jack Morris and Red Faber for 35th place on the career list.
Cardinals 9, White Sox 4
Chicago Ray Lankford delivered a go-ahead seventh-inning triple, Eduardo Perez hit St. Louis' club-record eighth grand slam this season, and Garrett Stephenson pitched eight strong innings as the Cardinals sent Chicago to its fourth straight loss. The White Sox, who led by 101/2 games at the All-Star break, have lost two games off their lead in the two games since. Not only did the White Sox match their longest losing streak of the season, they watched one of their best pitchers, Cal Eldred, leave in the fifth inning because of a sore elbow.
Blue Jays 3, Phillies 2
Toronto Homer Bush tied the game with his first homer of the season, then Raul Mondesi won it with a game-winning grounder in the bottom of the ninth as Toronto defeated Philadelphia. Jeff Brantley (1-3) yielded a one-out home run to Bush in the ninth for his second blown save in 16 chances.
Astros 9, Tigers 4
Detroit Chris Holt won for the first time since June 3 and Craig Biggio singled, doubled and tripled as Houston defeated Detroit. Lance Berkman, Mitch Meluskey and Richard Hidalgo homered for the Astros, who have won three of five, but just seven of their last 25.
Devil Rays 8, Expos 5
St. Petersburg, Fla. Gerald Williams homered for the third straight game and Albie Lopez worked seven strong innings as Tampa Bay beat Montreal. Lee Stevens went 3-for-4 with a double and a solo homer for the Expos. It was the 100th homer of his career.
Cubs 6, Twins 2
Minneapolis Sammy Sosa hit his 24th homer and Jon Lieber pitched seven scoreless innings to win his fourth straight start as Chicago beat Minnesota. Lieber (9-5) was in control from the start, allowing just a leadoff single to Cristian Guzman over the first 52/3 innings. At one point he retired 14 straight batters. Sosa's home run, a 453-foot shot off Eric Milton (8-5) in the second inning, was his 360th career homer.
Braves 4, Orioles 1
Baltimore Andy Ashby pitched a seven-hitter in his debut with Atlanta and Andres Galarraga had three hits, including a homer, as the Braves beat Baltimore. Chipper Jones also homered for the Braves, who improved to 4-7 against the Orioles since the inception of interleague play. Atlanta is 4-1 in Baltimore and 0-6 at Turner Field. Ashby, obtained Wednesday in a trade with Philadelphia, walked four and struck out six in his second complete game of the season.
Angels 5, Dodgers 3
Los Angeles Darin Erstad drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run homer off Kevin Brown in the seventh inning as Anaheim overcame two homers by Gary Sheffield and beat Los Angeles. Sheffield's second home run enabled the six-time All-Star to reach the 30-homer mark for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It was his third in two games, following an eight-game drought.
Indians 9, Pirates 3
Cleveland Chuck Finley had an All-Star performance and rookie Russell Branyan drove in four runs to lead Cleveland. Finley (8-6) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings in his first outing since being the only AL All-Star not to play in his team's 6-2 victory over the NL.
Mets 6, Red Sox 4
Boston Mike Piazza homered twice, including the game winner in the eighth inning, to lead New York over Boston in a tense game that saw the benches empty. Piazza's shot into the left-field screen off reliever Derek Lowe (2-4) gave New York a 5-4 lead after Edgardo Alfonzo singled with two outs. Nomar Garciaparra went 4-for-4 for Boston to raise his average to a major league-leading .400. The benches emptied when Mets catcher Todd Pratt and Boston's Brian Daubach began jawing.
Diamondbacks 6, Rangers 1
Phoenix Steve Finley homered, tripled and drove in four runs and Armando Reynoso pitched a six-hitter as Arizona beat Texas. Jay Bell added an RBI double for the Diamondbacks.
Mariners 7, Padres 5
San Diego In a wacky sequence of events, John Olerud had a game-tying double taken away by the umpires, then hit a three-run homer to lead Seattle. With runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, Olerud doubled to left. But it turned out that first base umpire Jim Wolf called time because a baseball had come out into fair territory in right field near the Mariners' bullpen.
Giants 4, Athletics 2
San Francisco Barry Bonds hit his 30th homer, and Mark Gardner pitched seven strong innings as San Francisco defeated Oakland. Felipe Crespo's pinch-hit single in the seventh scored Rich Aurilia with the go-ahead run.