Clemens' efficient fastball mows down two-year dry spell in opener Red Sox ace to get only 3 days' rest


By the time the doubleheader had finished with a dramatic Baltimore Orioles victory, Roger Clemens' effort in the opener had to share the spotlight.

In his first conquest of the Orioles in more than two years, Clemens was on his game.

"It was a good ballgame, but I don't really look back on it right now," said Clemens, who leads the major leagues in strikeouts (227) and ERA (2.38) after yesterday's 2-1 victory, in which he pitched a seven-hitter and struck out 10.

"I was out there trying to pitch efficiently because I have to come back on Monday," he said of his 118-pitch effort.

Clemens has allowed one run in his past 21 innings and has gone nine innings in five of his past six starts. He struck out 10 or more for the sixth time this year, the 47th time in his career. And he will come back with three days' rest.

"You go out there as much as you can now," he said. "You can't worry about when your spot comes up. We've got to win each game as we go."

Dave Johnson dueled Clemens, but "maybe the best game I pitched all year" went to waste because of two first-inning homers.

"I just pitched against the wrong guy," said Johnson.

Errorless streak near record

The Orioles did not commit an error in either game yesterday, putting their club-record errorless-games streak at 13, within 1 of the AL record set by the California Angels in June.

The major-league record is held by the St. Louis Cardinals at 15 games, also set this season.

The Orioles, whose last error was on Sept. 11 by Mike Devereaux against the New York Yankees, have played 91 errorless games this season, two short of the 1989 club record. With a major-league-low 84 errors and 10 games left, they appear likely to become the first team in major-league history to commit fewer than 100 errors three years in a row.

Attendance record still in sight

Despite the smallest crowd of the season, 10,728, for yesterday's makeup date, the Orioles still figure to break 1989's pTC attendance record unless there is another rain-out.

They need 129,826 -- or 43,275 per game -- for the three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on the final weekend to surpass the record of 2,535,208.

The previous single-game low for the season was 18,718 against the Seattle Mariners on April 29.

Baseball, not golf

Because yesterday's scheduled day off became a work day, the Orioles were forced to cancel their participation in the golf tournament at Eagle's Nest for the benefit of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation.

"They're still playing it," said pitcher Jeff Ballard. "All we could do was send a bunch of baseballs over there."

Eighteen players were scheduled to play.


1B Glenn Davis has almost recovered from the strain in his back. "He's getting close," said Orioles manager John Oates. "He'll probably play Friday." . . . The Orioles continue their fan-plan meetings at the new ballpark tomorrow at 10 a.m. A collection of fans, already chosen, will tour the concession stands and "Kids Area." The event is not open to the public. . . . Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Unitas have accepted invitations to throw out ceremonial first balls at the final Memorial Stadium game, Oct. 6. . . . The official total was 2.4 inches of rain at Memorial Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Until yesterday's opener, the Orioles had not allowed 2 homers in a game since Sept. 4. . . . Joe Orsulak was ejected from the second game for arguing balls and strikes after pinch hitting in the sixth. It was his first ejection of the year. . . . Todd Frohwirth has worked 12 1/3 straight scoreless innings. Overall, the Orioles bullpen has a 1.36 ERA in its past 53 innings.

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