Fri, Aug 22, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Clemens wins as Yankees sweep Royals

AP , NEW YORK ANDST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Cleveland Indians catcher Tim Laker, right, is restrained by ndians manager Eric Wedge while yelling home plate umpire Scott Nelson after being ejected during seventh inning action against the Minnesota Twins in Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday. Laker argued that he successfully made the tag on Twins' Torii Hunter at home plate.

PHOTO: REUTERS

American LeagueRoger Clemens got his 305th win, and Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera homered as the New York Yankees stretched their winning streak to seven games by holding off the Kansas City Royals 8-7 Wednesday.

New York completed a three-game sweep and improved to 10-0 at home against the AL Central. Kansas City has lost six of eight.

Clemens (12-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, tying Eddie Plank for 18th on the career victory list. New York quickly overcame a 2-0 deficit against Jimmy Gobble (2-2), making his fourth major league start.

Kansas City scored four runs in the ninth but fell short partly because of a baserunning blunder.

After Angel Berroa's RBI single in the ninth off Sterling Hitchcock, Mariano Rivera relieved and eventually got two outs for his 27th save in 33 chances.

"He is the elite," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Whatever year it is, '98, '99, 2000, I'm no different in my feeling and confidence in him."

The inning's second out came when Raul Ibanez singled to right and Mike Sweeney was held up at third. Carlos Beltran took too wide a turn at second and was thrown out by Juan Rivera.

Joe Randa followed with a single for Kansas City's seventh straight hit, pulling the Royals within one, but Desi Relaford struck out on three pitches to end it.

Blue Jays 5, Mariners 2

In Toronto, Josh Towers pitched his first complete game in over two years, and Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer to give him 100 RBIs for the second straight season as Toronto ended a three-game losing streak with a victory over Seattle.

Towers (3-1) won his second straight start, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on six hits. He struck out three and walked none.

Down 2-0, the Blue Jays rallied off starter Gil Meche (13-9) for a four-run fifth highlighted by Wells' 30th homer.

Orioles 9, Devil Rays 5

In Baltimore, Damian Moss earned his first AL win and Jay Gibbons homered and drove in four runs as Baltimore ended an eight-game losing streak by defeating Tampa Bay.

Larry Bigbie also homered for Baltimore, and Jeff Conine returned from a 10-game absence and went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and three runs scored. The Orioles were 1-9 without their cleanup hitter, who was sidelined with bursitis in his right arm.

Moss (1-1), obtained in the July 31 trade that sent Sidney Ponson to the San Francisco Giants, allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Tampa Bay starter Victor Zambrano (9-7) gave up eight runs -- six earned -- and four hits. He walked six and hit a batter in 3 2-3 innings.

Twins 4, Indians 3

In Cleveland, Torii Hunter scored on a sacrifice fly that barely reached the outfield grass in the seventh inning as Minnesota grabbed a win over Cleveland.

Hunter's daring dash helped the Twins move within one-half game of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.

In the seventh inning, Hunter and A.J. Pierzynski singled off Brian Anderson (9-10) and Dustan Mohr sacrificed. With the infield in, Cristian Guzman hit a popup to the shortstop side of second that was caught by second baseman John McDonald.

Hunter immediately broke for the plate and scored, although catcher Tim Laker argued the call.

Laker was ejected, and as he was being escorted back to the dugout by manager Eric Wedge, Cleveland's catcher tossed his mask, glove and the ball.

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