Sports Outside the Beltway

Clemens returns with a win

Bryan Hoch reports -

For weeks, the Yankees have insisted that they weren’t waiting for Roger Clemens to prop the team on his 44-year-old shoulders, like some pinstriped savior riding in from the outposts of Tampa, Trenton or Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

All the Yankees desired, as Clemens journeyed to the big leagues and clicked the meter on a lucrative contract, was for him to slot as a productive member of their rotation, promising them a stable effort every fifth day.

Mission accomplished. Clemens’ Bronx relaunch was a success, as The Rocket notched a win in his first start of the season, pitching six innings in the Yankees’ 9-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

“It felt like old times,” Clemens said. “I’ve got to take a little deep breath now. I understand the excitement that’s there and the expectations that are there. There’s a lot of both.”

Clemens threw 108 pitches in the start, limiting the Pirates to three runs and five hits in helping the Yankees extend their winning streak to a season-high five games. New York is now two games under .500 at 29-31 and had been showing signs of renewal even before Clemens jazzed things up.

Five and counting…

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