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Yankees Simply Can't Solve Zito

Oakland left-hander gives up only four hits in eight innings to win, 2-0, and prevent Clemens from getting 298th victory.

May 05, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Barry Zito outpitched Roger Clemens on Sunday in a marquee matchup of the last two American League Cy Young Award winners, blanking baseball's top-scoring team for eight innings and leading the Oakland Athletics over the New York Yankees, 2-0.

"This was definitely a good one," Zito said.

A day earlier, Oakland first baseman Scott Hatteberg playfully called it a meeting of "Cy Young vs. Cy Old."

"I agreed with the theory of it," Zito said.

Hatteberg helped decide the outcome, hitting a solo home run against his former teammate on Clemens' sixth pitch.

"I want to reiterate I have all the respect in the world for Roger," Hatteberg said. "He's at the top of the list of guys I respect. I just meant Barry's young, he's older. I was just trying to be cute."

Hatteberg's homer turned out to be the only run Zito (5-2) needed to deny Clemens his 298th career victory.

Featuring a big-bending breaking ball, the left-hander held the Yankees to four hits and kept the Yankee Stadium crowd of 45,426 quiet.

"I was able to watch a couple of innings," Clemens said. "He has a really good curveball. It doesn't really matter who you're matching up against. You don't go out and try to do anything different."

Both teams finished with only four hits and Oakland won for the eighth time in 10 games. By taking two of three, the Athletics became the first team to win a series against the Yankees this season.

Zito, nine days shy of his 25th birthday, showed the stuff and composure that made him the AL's top pitcher last year.

Twice the Yankees put runners on first and second with no outs, and both times he escaped. He struck out four and walked three.

Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 tries. On Saturday, he blew a save chance when Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

There was a little drama this time with Foulke too. Bernie Williams was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Hideki Matsui followed with a fly ball that center fielder Chris Singleton caught while bumping into right fielder Terrence Long.

Clemens (4-2), a six-time Cy Young Award winner, was almost equal to the task. The 40-year-old yielded only four hits in seven innings.

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Ahead of the Pack

Major League's best records since 2000:

*--* Team Record Pct Seattle 320-197 619 Oakland 315-201 610 New York (AL) 308-205 600 Atlanta 305-210 592 San Francisco 302-213 586

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Major League's best records since 1998:

*--* Team Record Pct New York (AL) 520-317 621 Atlanta 514-325 613 San Francisco 477-363 568 Oakland 476-364 567 Seattle 476-365 566

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