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Neagle Gets Best of Toronto, Clemens

June 17, 1997|From Associated Press

Denny Neagle was impressed with Roger Clemens. However, that didn't stop him from outpitching the three-time Cy Young winner.

"I knew I had to be on top of my game to beat Roger," Neagle said Monday night after pitching a five-hitter in Atlanta's 3-0 victory at Toronto.

"It was a thrill just to be on the same field with Clemens. But I couldn't let that distract me from doing my job."

Neagle (10-1) didn't allow a runner past second in his second shutout of the season. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter as the Braves ended a season-high, four-game losing streak.

Clemens (11-2) struck out 12, but lost his second consecutive start. He gave up eight hits and walked none in his third complete game.

Chipper Jones went two for four with a homer and two runs scored against Clemens, but still called the Toronto pitcher "awesome."

"When you stand there 60 feet away, you feel inferior," Jones said. "In his mind he probably feels he made a mistake to me. But he shows you who he is by striking out 12 and throwing a complete game."

Jones started the second inning with a single and scored on a double by Ryan Klesko. One out later, Javier Lopez singled and Mark Lemke hit a run-scoring single with two outs for a 2-0 lead.

Jones hit his ninth home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth.

Montreal 6, Baltimore 4--The Expos tied a club record with their 10th consecutive victory as Mike Lansing and Ryan McGuire homered at Baltimore.

Montreal, coming off a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, is the only NL team that has not lost an interleague game. The Expos built a 5-0 lead after four innings and held on to hand the Orioles only their fifth loss in 18 games.

Mark Grudzielanek had three hits, including two doubles, and Darrin Fletcher drove in two runs.

Montreal starter Dustin Hermanson (3-4), whose fastball was clocked at 96 mph, gave up three runs and six hits. He struck out seven before leaving in the seventh after giving up a homer to Surhoff and a single to Jeffrey Hammonds.

Boston 5, Philadelphia 4--Troy O'Leary was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th inning and the Red Sox, helped by a misplay by left fielder Gregg Jefferies, won at Boston.

In their first meaningful game against the Red Sox since the 1915 World Series, the Phillies took a 4-2 lead into the ninth. But the Red Sox rallied against relief ace Ricky Bottalico, aided by Jefferies.

Jefferies, playing in unfamiliar territory, lost Scott Hatteberg's fly near the foul line and the Green Monster for a double. Troy O'Leary followed with a pinch-hit, two-run double off the left-field wall that tied it.

With two outs in the Boston 10th, Tim Naehring walked, John Valentin singled and Mike Benjamin had an infield single that loaded the bases. Bottalico (1-3) hit O'Leary with his first pitch to force in the winning run.

Kansas City 5, Houston 2--Jeff King drove in three runs with two doubles and Johnny Damon delivered a two-run single, powering the Royals at Kansas City.

Jose Rosado (7-3) won his fourth consecutive decision with his second complete game in three starts. He gave up one earned run and six hits, while striking out four and walking none.

Trailing, 2-1, in the seventh, the Royals loaded the bases on Jose Offerman's single, Tom Goodwin's bunt and Jay Bell's walk. King, who had a run-scoring double off the center-field wall in the fifth, hit reliever Russ Springer's pitch to nearly the same spot, scoring Offerman and Goodwin.

After Chili Davis was walked intentionally, Craig Paquette, who had failed to deliver with the bases loaded in the first and third, popped out to second, giving him nine runners stranded in three at-bats. The Astros then brought in Tom Martin, who gave up a two-run single to Damon.

Pittsburgh 8, Minnesota 6--Mark Smith homered in the first plate appearance by a Pirate designated hitter and Kevin Polcovich hit the first homer of his career in the victory at Minneapolis.

Smith, activated from the disabled list Sunday, hit a two-run homer in the second. Polcovich, a rookie who went into the game with 215 at-bats, added a two-run homer in the fourth.

After losing two of three at home to Kansas City in their first interleague series, the Pirates won for only the second time in seven interleague games to keep from falling a season-low three games under .500.

Jason Schmidt (2-4) scattered six hits in seven-plus innings to end an eight-game winless streak. He struck out eight and walked one before giving up four consecutive hits to start the eighth as Minnesota rallied from an 8-0 deficit.

Florida 7, Detroit 3--Jim Eisenreich, the first designated hitter in Marlin history, and Jeff Conine each drove in two runs at Detroit.

Kevin Brown (7-4), coming off a no-hitter Tuesday against San Francisco, gave up six hits over eight innings, two of them infield hits. He also struck out five, gave up three runs and threw a wild pitch.

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