Clemens struggles a bit in second tuneup Print
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Wednesday, 23 May 2007 15:41
MLB Headline News

 TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -Roger Clemens didn't look ready for the major leagues on Wednesday night.
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings while pitching for the New York Yankees' Double-A Trenton farm team against Boston's Portland, Maine, affiliate.
In his second minor league start since signing with the Yankees, he threw 64 of 102 pitches for strikes, struggling at times with his control and what appeared to be heavy legs.
The 44-year-old, who may make his next start for the Yankees next week at Toronto, was given a standing ovation by the Thunder's record crowd of 9,134 at Waterfront Park.
He walked four, struck out five, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Clemens had planned to throw 70-75 pitches but he was at the number after four innings. He got through the fifth with only 10 pitches, but got into trouble in the sixth, giving up consecutive singles, hitting a batter and walking another as Portland tied the score 2-2.
Thunder manager Tony Franklin walked to the mound, talked to Clemens and summoned reliever Michael Gardner, who walked in the go-ahead run against the Sea Dogs.
Before the game, Clemens said his return would depend on how he pitched both in the game and in a bullpen session on Friday.
If all goes well, he could jump into New York's rotation Monday or Tuesday against the Blue Jays - one of his former teams.
If he wants more work, Clemens might choose to make another minor league start, perhaps for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, before returning to the big leagues June 2 or 3 at Boston, his original club.
Current Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein sat behind home plate and watched the game.
``I'm just here to watch my guys play,'' Epstein said.
Clemens took the ``Madden'' bus from New York and arrived at Trenton about 1 p.m. Less than an hour later, he was holding court on the mound with members of the Thunder.
it.''
Clemens took the ``Madden'' bus from New York and arrived at Trenton about 1 p.m. Less than an hour later, he was holding court on the mound with members of the Thunder.
``It's exciting,'' Clemens said around 2:30 p.m. ``I mean I am happy I get an opportunity to maybe perform in places where I normally would not have the opportunity to. I have gotten to see some neat towns. Coming here from New York it was a pretty neat drive. I am meeting some new guys and that's all part of it, I enjoy doing it.''
A Yankees' season ticket holder, Kevin Carpenter of Norwalk, Conn., gave up his seats for Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankees Stadium to see Clemens.
``He's been my Babe Ruth growing up. I even made the ultimate sacrifice switching from a Red Sox fan to a Yankees fan,'' Carpenter said.
Clemens threw 58 pitches in four innings for Class-A Tampa on Friday night. He allowed one run on three hits - a solo homer - and struck out two against the Fort Myers Miracle, a Minnesota Twins affiliate.
Clemens struggled with his control in the first inning, when plate umpire Clory Blaser didn't give him the 13-time All Star any breaks.
Leadoff hitter Jeff Corsaletti led off the game with a fly out to deep drive to left center and the inning ended when Bryan Pritz's long fly was caught on the warning track with the bases loaded.
Clemens mixed in more sliders and breaking balls the rest of the way.
Iggy Suarez, the No. 9 hitter, hit a two-out triple down the third-base line in the second. It probably would have been a double but it took a weird bounce off the bullpen fence. Clemens got the next hitter on a weak liner to third.
Portland touched Clemens for a run in third. Jed Lowrie hit a lead-off double to right center on a hanging slider and scored on a pair of groundouts - on the first one, Clemens hustled to cover first base.
Clemens gave up a one-out double to Scott Youngbauer in the fourth, however Thunder third baseman Aarom Baldiris caught a hard line drive and made a nice stop on a ground for the next two outs.
Clemens agreed to a $28,000,022, one-year contract on May 6 and began working out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., last week.
 

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