No hits, but no no-hitter Indians, rule change beat Red Sox's Young


CLEVELAND -- Matt Young walked to the dugout after striking out Mark Whiten to end his eight-inning complete game in which he allowed no hits. Then he sat down to watch the Boston Red Sox's final at-bat in a 2-1 loss in the first game of a doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians yesterday. Boston won the second game, 3-0.

"No-hitters are supposed to be when you strike out the last guy and your catcher comes out and you jump around," Young said. "Not when you go to the dugout. It's anticlimactic. . . . It's kind of like being in purgatory."

Young, a left-hander, threw 120 pitches (63 strikes), walked seven and struck out six. But because of a change in the rules last season, Young was not credited with a no-hitter.

An eight-man committee on statistical accuracy, chaired by commissioner Fay Vincent, ruled on what qualifies as a no-hitter as far as Major League Baseball is concerned.

The panel voted unanimously to define no-hitters as games of nine innings or more that ended with no hits. That dropped 50 games from the list, leaving 225 no-hitters in major-league history.

The last official no-hitter by a Red Sox was by Dave Morehead Sept. 16, 1965, against the Indians at Fenway Park.

The rule did not concern Young, who maintained he pitched a no-hitter: "They didn't get any hits. Game's over. People can make rules all they want."

It was another unusual occurrence in a strange weekend series:

* Saturday, the Red Sox won, 7-5, on Tim Naehring's two-run

home run in the 19th inning. It tied for the third-longest game in Red Sox history.

* In yesterday's second game, Roger Clemens (1-1) allowed only singles to Carlos Baegra in the first inning and Glenallen Hill in the third, struck out 12 and walked three to lead the Red Sox.

Clemens is 16-2 (2.00 ERA) with six shutouts against Cleveland. It was the most he had struck out since 13 against the Angels Aug. 31,1989.

* The Indians set a major-league record for the fewest hits in a doubleheader. The record was three by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1934, the Chicago White Sox in 1945, the New York Mets in 1964 and the California Angels in 1969.

* Clemens' performance came after he called the clubhouse in the 17th inning Saturday from his home in Framingham, Mass., and volunteered to pitch yesterday instead of today against the Baltimore Orioles in the home opener at Fenway Park.

"I was out running and my wife Debbie told me it was in the 12th and Greg Harris and Danny Darwin were out there," Clemens said. "Then Mike Gardiner was out there and [Frank] Viola was warming up. I told her, 'Get that [phone] number in Cleveland.' "

Young (0-1) lost to Charles Nagy (seven innings, eight hits, four walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts) because of his wildness and six stolen bases.

The Indians scored one run in the first when leadoff batter Kenny Lofton walked and stole second and third. He scored on Luis Rivera's throwing error on Baegra's grounder.

The second run came in the third, again because of a leadoff walk. After Mark Lewis and Lofton walked, Hill grounded into a force. Hill stole second. Lewis scored when Rivera fielded Baegra's grounder and failed to get Hill at third.

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