- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2001


BOSTON (AP) He was booed. He was taunted. But Roger Clemens never let it affect his concentration. Clemens extended his winning streak to 14 when Jorge Posada hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning last night to give the New York Yankees a 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees increased their AL East lead over Boston to seven games, sending the Red Sox to their sixth straight loss. The teams began a stretch in which they play each other seven times in 11 days.

"Anytime you're playing the team closest to you, it's always nice to notch a win," Clemens said. "To win the first game of the series is great."

Clemens (18-1), back in the ballpark where he earned three Cy Young awards and many of his 278 career victories in 13 seasons with the Red Sox, struck out 10. He walked none and gave up seven hits in seven innings.

"I think walks have been hurting me a little bit," said Clemens, who has issued just 56 walks in 27 starts this season.

Said Yankees manager Joe Torre: "I thought this was the best stuff he's had in his last four, five, or six outings as far as command."

The 10-strikeout game was the 98th of Clemens' career and moved him past Sandy Koufax for third in major league history behind Nolan Ryan (215) and Randy Johnson (168).

Posada hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning and Bernie Williams added a solo shot in the ninth.

Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 42nd save in 48 chances. The Red Sox got two runners on base in the ninth, but pinch hitter Troy O'Leary grounded into a double play to end it.

The Yankees rallied after Boston starter Frank Castillo, who won two games against the Yankees earlier this season, left after seven innings with a 1-0 lead. He gave up just two hits and struck out four.

"Castillo really pitched well, probably his best game of the year," Red Sox manager Joe Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan pulled Castillo after he had thrown 89 pitches and retired 14 in a row.

"We tried to push him earlier in the year and that's when he runs into trouble," Kerrigan said.

Instead, Derek Lowe (4-10) ran into trouble. David Justice led off the eighth with an infield single and Posada followed his home run to center field.

Lowe's 10 losses are tied with Tim Wakefield for the team lead.

"It's been a tough year for me," Lowe said. "There's that little guy in your head saying 'Here we go again,' but you have to fight it off."

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Trot Nixon and Chris Stynes hit two-out doubles.

Nixon's double hit high off the wall in left field and missed being a home run by about two feet. Stynes followed with a drive into the gap in right-center field that bounced into the Red Sox bullpen.

Justice's running catch of Carl Everett's deep drive to left prevented the Red Sox from adding to the lead.

The Red Sox had runners in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings, but the team's recent hitting woes with men in scoring position continued. The team was 1-for-23 with men in scoring position in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians earlier this week.

The Red Sox also had runners at the corners with one out in the sixth, but Clemens struck out Shea Hillenbrand and got Mike Lansing on a fly ball.

"When he got out of the first-and-third jam that was huge for us," Torre said. "That kept us in the ballgame and gave us a little pop of energy."

Castillo allowed a two-out single to Posada in the second, but struck out Nick Johnson to end the inning. Alfonso Soriano hit a leadoff single in the third, but was caught stealing.

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