NEW YORK (AP) -Roger Clemens shook off some early rust and gave the surging New York Yankees the lift they were looking for, leading them to a 9-3 victory Saturday over the Pittsburgh Pirates in his long-awaited season debut.
Pitching in pinstripes for the first time in four years, Clemens labored through the first few innings but got more effective as the afternoon wore on. He struck out seven in six solid innings and retired his final seven batters. The 44-year-old Clemens allowed three runs, five hits and two walks.
Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs for the Yankees, who have won a season-best five straight and eight of 10 overall. Robinson Cano had three hits.
After spending the past three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros, Clemens came out of retirement again when he agreed May 6 to a prorated, one-year contract with the Yankees worth $28,000,022 - the last two digits matching his uniform number.
He finished the day with 4,611 career strikeouts, passing Randy Johnson for second place behind Nolan Ryan (5,714).
Paul Maholm (2-9) gave up five runs - three earned - and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He dropped to 0-5 in his past six starts.
Athletics 6, Giants 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Oakland beat up on its former ace again, chasing Barry Zito after four tough innings.
Bobby Crosby homered off Zito, Mark Ellis also connected and Dan Haren won his seventh straight decision.
Zito (6-6) certainly wanted nothing more than to bounce back from a horrible start against the A's on May 18, when he was tagged for seven runs in four innings of a 15-3 loss to his former club. But he gave up nine hits and four runs - three earned - and the Giants lost for their sixth in eight games.
Barry Bonds went 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts. The 42-year-old slugger has just one homer in 73 at-bats since connecting May 8 off the Mets' Tom Glavine.
Haren (7-2) struck out six in seven innings and didn't walk a batter for the fourth time this year. He lowered his majors-best ERA from 1.70 to 1.58.
Astros 3, White Sox 2
CHICAGO (AP) - Lance Berkman hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth and Houston won back-to-back games for the first time since mid-May.
The White Sox have lost 12 of 14. The Astros, also struggling this season, have their first two-game winning streak since taking four straight from May 12-16.
Berkman singled to drive in Adam Everett against Bobby Jenks (2-2).
Houston starter Jason Jennings, bidding for his first win with the Astros, took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning against the White Sox. Jennings left after allowing a single, and Jim Thome hit a two-run double off reliever Trever Miller to tie the game.
Chad Qualls (5-3) got the final out in the eight, and pitched the ninth, striking out Mackowiak with a runner on third to end the game.
Tigers 8, Mets 7
DETROIT (AP) - Carlos Guillen hit a three-run home run, Jeremy Bonderman won his sixth straight start and Detroit won for the fifth time in seven games.
Bonderman (6-0) gave up eight hits and six runs - five earned - while striking out four in six-plus innings. After five straight no-decisions, Bonderman has won each of his last six starts.
Oliver Perez (6-5) pitched five innings, allowing five runs and seven hits with five walks. He struck out four. It was the most earned runs Perez has given up all season.
Todd Jones got three outs for his 16th save in 20 chances.
Wright hit his 11th home run in the eighth to cut Detroit's lead to 8-7.
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