ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Boston starter Roger Clemens has a staggering 17-2 record after pitching his second two-hitter of the season, and more important for the Red Sox, he fulfilled his role as a stopper.
Clemens’ latest heroics snapped Boston’s longest losing streak of the season Friday night in an 8-1 victory over the California Angels.
It was the 10th time that Clemens won following a Red Sox loss. He is the only Boston pitcher to gain a victory since July 11, and he has three of them in that time.
″The role model of a stopper is something people have tried to put me into. I like to try and stop things and get things going our way,″ he told reporters who waited 40 minutes for him to emerge from the trainer’s room where he apparently was icing his right elbow.
″You can’t say enough about him. He has a chance to win every time he goes out,″ said catcher Rich Gedman, whose grand slam homer capped a five-run rally in the fifth that gave the 23-year-old pitcher an 8-0 lead.
″I just tried to keep the momentum from the other guys,″ Clemens said when asked about pitching with that wide lead.
″It was a very strong performance,″ said Boston Manager John McNamara. ″When he got those five runs, he backed off going after people and made them hit the ball.″
″With that big lead, he was just throwing the ball up there,″ said Reggie Jackson, who led off the Angels’ fifth with the first hit off Clemens. It led to the only run, which scored on Brian Downing’s sacrifice fly.
″He’s only the best in the game,″ said Jackson of Clemens, who now has a 10-0 record on the road.
Clemens, the league strikeout leader with 161, fanned seven and allowed just five base-runners in his complete-game victory.
It was not all sweetness though for Clemens. He picked up his second career error in his grab for a runaway bunt by Gary Pettis.