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.
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