Clemens given OK to pitch Friday

Boston Red Sox right-hander Roger Clemens, sidelined with a sore right shoulder since Sept. 4, was given medical clearance to pitch Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"He plans to throw on Tuesday, and he's looking forward to pitching on Friday," Dr. Arthur Pappas, the team doctor, said yesterday at a news conference at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.


"Roger feels he has pitched through more than this in the past," Pappas said after examining the two-time Cy Young Award winner. "Roger wants to pitch, and he feels he can pitch Friday night."

Pappas, an orthopedic specialist, said there is nothing seriously wrong with Clemens' right shoulder.


"There is no problem with his rotator cuff," Pappas said. "There is no structural damage within his shoulder. He has knots in the back of his shoulder [which forced him to cancel Sunday's start]. There's a twinge, and he jumps if somebody touches it, but it's nothing that he hasn't had since July."

* METS: Ron Darling's effort against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, when he allowed three runs in six innings, has earned him a start against the Montreal Expos on Thursday.

"I'd love to take the ball [against the Expos]," Darling said. "Pitching well this week might make them rethink their plans for me, but who knows, maybe it could make it easier for them to make a deal, too. This has been such a strange year for me."

* AL: The Toronto Blue Jays won a coin flip for the right to be the home team if a one-game playoff against Boston is needed to decide the American League East title.

If Toronto and Boston tie after 162 games, the playoff would be played at SkyDome at 1:05 p.m. Oct. 4, unless there also is a playoff in the National League East. If the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates tie for first in the NL East, their playoff would be in the afternoon and Toronto and Boston would play at 7:05.

* TIGERS: A former Tiger Stadium locker-room attendant, Charles Cox, has been arraigned in Detroit's 36th District Court on larceny charges. According to police records, Cox and an accomplice took Dave Winfield's bats, Lance Parrish's jerseys and other players' paraphernalia as souvenirs.

The scheme came to light when Parrish asked for his backup jersey Aug. 22 during a game series between the Tigers and the California Angels. When the Angels' equipment manager went to the locker room to get it, he found that Parrish's and Winfield's duffel bags had been raided, court documents said.