Yanks' Clemens wins historic 19th
TORONTO Roger Clemens walked away with another win and a few more historic souvenirs.
Clemens set a Yankees' mark with his 15th straight victory, pitching New York over the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 last night.
"It's special," Clemens said. "It's nice to have the lineup card. Skip handed it to me as soon as he walked through the door, and Mariano Rivera handed me the baseball. Those will be treasured, and I definitely will be able to look at those in the offseason and know what they mean."
Clemens (19-1) also became just the second player in major league history to win 19 of his first 20 decisions. Rube Marquard of the New York Giants did it in 1912.
The 39-year-old right-hander, the AL's first 19-game winner this season, passed Jack Chesbro and Whitey Ford for the longest winning streak in Yankee history. Chesbro won 14 straight in 1904, and Ford won 14 in 1961.
"I'm just very fortunate I'm still able to be a power pitcher," Clemens said. "My body and my arm respond when I need it to."
Clemens, seeking his sixth career 20-win season, will make his next start either Monday night against Boston or Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Yankees manager Joe Torre, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and Clemens will make that decision tomorrow depending on how Clemens feels.
Clemens, who hasn't lost since May 20 at Seattle a span of 19 starts took a five-hit shutout into the eighth before Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer.
Clemens, who doesn't have a complete game this season, allowed two runs on six hits in 7¡ innings. He struck out five and walked four.
David Justice homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who went 5-1 on their road trip.
The Yankees, who maintained their 9 1/2-game lead over Boston in the AL East, are 26-3 in Clemens' 29 starts.