MOOSIC, Pa. (AP) -Roger Clemens pitched six shutout innings in Triple-A on Monday, leaving to a standing ovation from an overflow crowd in what the New York Yankees hope is his final start in the minors.
Clemens showed improved command from his last outing at Double-A, this time giving up two hits and two walks for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 44-year-old ace struck out six against Toledo in his third tuneup.
New York began the day 12 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East. On Sunday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would evaluate Clemens' performance Monday before deciding when he would join them.
All told, the seven-time Cy Young winner threw 89 pitches, 58 for strikes. His two walks came on full-count pitches and he was primarily in the strike zone when he needed to be. He struck out Timo Perez to end the first, and fanned at least one batter in each inning except the sixth.
Clemens gave up a sharply hit single in the second and a ground single in the sixth, and never allowed more than one runner in an inning.
Clemens' control was a concern at Trenton last week when he walked four and allowed six hits and three runs over 5 1-3 innings.
In the opening inning against Toledo, Clemens got two weak grounders and struck out Perez on a split-finger fastball.
The second inning started with a 10-pitch at-bat by Ryan Raburn - Clemens had thrown a total of 12 pitches the entire first inning - before a popout. With two outs, Mike Hessman got the Mud Hens' first hit of the game, lining a 1-2 pitch into left field for a single. Ramon Santiago then struck out.
In the sixth, the Mud Hens got their second hit on a ground ball that first baseman Eric Duncan knocked down but couldn't turn into an out.
Raburn grounded out to end the inning, sending Clemens off the field to a loud ovation from the crowd of 11,310, a number that's 1,000 over capacity at PNC Field, where the team sold standing-room-only tickets for the first time this season.

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