- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

BALTIMORE — Roger Clemens moved into a tie for 17th place on the career victory list, allowing two earned runs in seven innings as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 last night.

Alfonso Soriano hit his third homer in two nights and Hideki Matsui drove in three runs for the Yankees, who maintained their 51/2-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East.

Clemens (15-9), who plans to retire after this season, allowed three runs and seven hits in his 308th victory, tying with Hall of Famer Hoss Radbourn. Pitching for the final time in Baltimore, Clemens struck out four and walked none in improving to 6-6 at Camden Yards.

Clemens has 940 strikeouts with the Yankees, tied with Dave Righetti for 10th place.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 38th save in 44 chances. He has converted 13 straight chances and has not yielded a run in his last 11 appearances.

Pedro Swann hit his first major league homer for the Orioles, who have lost six of seven and fell a season-worst 16 games under .500.

New York went up 4-1 with a three-run sixth against Jason Johnson (10-8). Bernie Williams drew a leadoff walk and Jorge Posada doubled before Matsui hit a tapper to first. B.J. Surhoff fielded the ball and flipped it to Johnson as Williams scored.

Although replays showed Johnson beat Matsui to the base, umpire Fieldin Culbreth ruled Johnson missed touching the bag. Orioles manager Mike Hargrove argued with Culbreth, to no avail.

One out later, Karim Garcia hit a short fly ball to left, but Swann didn’t attempt to nab Posada at the plate, apparently thinking there were three outs. Soriano followed with an RBI double.

The Orioles got a run in the bottom half on a double by Larry Bigbie and a single by Jay Gibbons, but Matsui hit a two-run single in the seventh to make it 6-2.

The inning also included the ejection of Hargrove, who got into a second dispute with Culbreth after the umpire called Williams safe on a throw to first that Surhoff juggled.

Johnson allowed six runs — four earned — in six-plus innings. It was the seventh straight start in which the right-hander failed to get what would be a career-high 11th win.

Both teams put a runner in scoring position twice in the first four innings before Soriano broke up the scoreless duel with his 32nd homer.

Johnson then threw a pitch behind Nick Johnson, and plate umpire Dan Iassogna issued a warning to both dugouts. Johnson stomped toward the plate, yelling that the pitch merely got away from him, before Hargrove shoved the pitcher aside and finished the argument.

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