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Yankees Rally to Rescue Clemens' Streak

April 28, 1999| From Associated Press

Roger Clemens can thank the New York Yankee offense for keeping his 17-game winning streak intact.

Despite giving up five runs in the first inning and leaving because of a bad hamstring after the second Tuesday night, Clemens will get another chance to set the American League record for consecutive wins because the Yankees rallied for two runs in the ninth against John Wetteland for a 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers at Arlington.

Clemens gave up five runs on four hits and two walks in two innings, then left because of a stiff left hamstring. He's not sure whether he'll take his next shot at consecutive win No. 18. His turn comes up next Sunday at Kansas City.

"I tweaked my hamstring in my last start, [but] I thought I could go today," said Clemens, a native Texan who had the added incentive of going for the milestone in front of more than 50 friends and relatives. "I felt strong warming up and in the first inning."

After throwing 53 pitches in the first two innings and talking with trainer Gene Monahan, Clemens decided to call it a night. New York was down 5-0 at the time.

"I wanted to be out there, [but] it was in my best interest not to return," said Clemens, who hasn't lost since last May 29 against Seattle while with Toronto.

Wetteland (0-1) came on for the ninth with a 6-5 lead and immediately walked Chuck Knoblauch on four pitches.

Derek Jeter singled, and Paul O'Neill's single tied it at 6-6. After Bernie Williams grounded out and Tino Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases, Chili Davis followed with a fly ball that scored the lead run.

It was the first blown save of the year in seven attempts for Wetteland, who was the World Series MVP for the Yankees in 1996.

Mariano Rivera, Wetteland's understudy two years ago, pitched the ninth for his fifth save. Mike Stanton (1-1) got one out for the victory.

Hideki Irabu kept New York in the game by giving up only one run on three hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five.

Minnesota 6, Boston 5--The Twins overcame a four-run deficit and Todd Walker snapped out of a slump with a two-run single in the eighth inning at Minneapolis.

Eddie Guardado (1-1) pitched one inning in relief of Eric Milton to earn the win. Rick Aguilera gave up a pinch homer to Reggie Jefferson in the ninth before finishing for his fourth save.

Jim Corsi (0-2) took the loss, walking two in the eighth before giving way to Mark Guthrie with the bases loaded. Walker, who was three for 20 in the home stand, then singled to center.

Milton pitched seven innings, giving up four runs and eight hits.

Baltimore 8, Kansas City 4--B.J. Surhoff had a career-high five hits, including two doubles and a homer, as the Orioles defeated the Royals at Baltimore for only their second victory in 10 games.

Surhoff went five for five, eclipsing his previous career-best of four hits set 22 times previously. Needing a triple to hit for the cycle, he doubled into the right-field corner in the seventh inning and singled in a run in the eighth.

Despite the victory, Baltimore still owns the worst record in the majors at 5-14.

Mike Mussina (3-1) gave up four runs and nine hits in seven-plus innings, a vast improvement over his previous outing when he yielded 10 earned runs against Tampa Bay. Mussina has been on the mound in four of Baltimore's five victories this season.

The Orioles held a team meeting before the game, then went out and built a 6-0 lead after four innings. The Royals closed to 7-4 in the eighth before Mike Timlin got the final four outs for his fourth save.

Charles Johnson hit his first homer with Baltimore, a solo shot that also accounted for his first RBI of the season, and Albert Belle stole home on the front end of a double steal.

Johnny Damon homered and had two RBIs for the Royals, who have lost eight of 11.

Detroit 5, Seattle 1--Brad Ausmus, Damion Easley and Karim Garcia hit home runs, leading Justin Thompson and the Tigers past the Mariners at Seattle.

The Mariners lost their fifth in a row at home.

Thompson (3-2) won his third consecutive decision. He gave up one run and seven hits in six innings.

The Tiger left-hander had a streak of 19 scoreless innings ended on Butch Huskey's RBI single in the sixth.

Easley had three hits. He doubled in the first, hit a solo homer in the fourth and singled and stole a base in the seventh.

Cleveland 8, Oakland 5--Manny Ramirez hit a two-run home run, giving him 28 RBIs in April, and the Indians defeated the Athletics at Oakland.

Ramirez hit his sixth homer of the season in the first inning against Tom Candiotti. Ramirez is seven RBIs behind the major league record for April set by Juan Gonzalez last year.

Charles Nagy (3-1), who lost to the A's last week at Cleveland, pitched 6 2/3 innings to earn the victory. Mike Jackson got the last out, throwing only one pitch for his fifth save.

Candiotti (2-3) left the game with two out in the first inning because of swelling in his left knee, the same knee that gave him trouble in spring training. He faced two batters after Ramirez homered, and the extent of his injury was not known.

Cleveland broke open the game with five runs in the third, all against reliever Brad Rigby. David Justice hit a two-run single, and Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome and Travis Fryman also drove in runs.

Tampa Bay at Chicago, ppd.--The game between the Devil Rays and White Sox was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.

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