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Clemens Picks Up Victory No. 333

June 18, 2005|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Roger Clemens always will have a soft spot in his heart for Kansas City.

Clemens got his 333rd victory with his 500th decision, dominating the Royals again in leading the Houston Astros to a 7-0 victory Friday night.

"I love Kansas City. I love this ballpark," said Clemens, who has won nine consecutive decisions against the Royals. "Here and Anaheim, I've enjoyed both cities very much."

Clemens (5-3) gave up four hits in six innings, struck out six and walked three, lowering his major league-leading earned-run average to 1.53. Clemens, ninth on the career wins list, has not surrendered a run in five road starts this year spanning 32 innings.

He improved to 24-7 with a 2.17 ERA against the Royals.

"I came out of the bullpen, I felt that my arm was a little bit heavy," Clemens said. "My body felt fine, but my arm felt like it was dragging a little bit. I just had to get it going and trust my fastball."

Clemens got three outs in a row after Kansas City's first two runners reached in the second. In the fifth, he walked Angel Berroa and David DeJesus with two out, then threw a called third strike past Matt Stairs, who is three for 27 against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

"Our hitters did the job and made it easy for us -- somewhat easy," Clemens said. "It wasn't a walk in the park because I was in trouble several times."

J.P. Howell (1-1), who broke Clemens' two-year strikeout record at the University of Texas before the Royals drafted him a year ago, gave up four runs in six innings.

Morgan Ensberg and Eric Bruntlett hit solo homers.

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