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Clemens Whiffs 18 In Jays' Win


Roger Clemens was just too much.

Clemens struck out 18 and won his 11th straight decision as he pitched the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

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  • Clemens, who has struck out 20 in a nine-inning game twice and shares the record with Chicago Cubs rookie Kerry Wood, had 14 strikeouts in the first seven innings.

    "That's the best stuff I've ever seen as far as having all your pitches working and putting the ball where you want it to," Kansas City's Dean Palmer said. "His forkball was (as) close to unhittable as you can get."

    Clemens struck out 15 or more for the ninth time in his career and surpassed the AL strikeout high for the season. Randy Johnson struck out 15 in a game three times this season with Seattle and Clemens had 15 himself against Anaheim on Aug. 15.

    "My adrenaline is still going now right now," Clemens said. "My pitches were all working and I just tried to pour it on when I could and just mix it up."

    Clemens

    Roger Clemens
    Clemenwas pumped after his stellar performance against the Royals. (AP)
    has had 89 double-digit strikeout games in his major league career. He has 39 strikeouts in his last three games.

    Clemens walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the 26,117 at the SkyDome after posting his second shutout this season and the 43rd of his career.

    Clemens (16-6), who hasn't lost since May 29, matched San Diego's Kevin Brown for the major league-high winning streak this season.

    The four-time Cy Young Award winner didn't allow a hit until Larry Sutton singled with one out in the fourth. Clemens then retired 10 straight before Palmer singled with two out in the seventh. He allowed three hits and walked none.

    "He had just unbelievable stuff tonight, probably the best performance I've ever caught," catcher Darrin Fletcher said. "I caught a perfect game through nine in San Diego one time when Pedro Martinez was throwing, but as far as punch-outs are concerned and total dominance of lineup, this was the best."

    Clemens, who reeled off 11 straight victories last season en route to the Cy Young Award, tied a club record he shares with Dennis Lamp.

    He is unbeaten in his last 16 starts and dominated in his last start, throwing a three-hitter in a 7-0 shutout of Seattle on Thursday.

    Asked about the possibility of winning another Cy Young award, Clemens said:

    "I don't have any control over that, but we'll just have to wait and see."

    The Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kansas City starter Chris Haney (5-6) walked Jose Cruz Jr. with the bases loaded.

    After Haney loaded the bases in the seventh on a walk, single and a hit batsman, Ricky Bones relieved. Craig Grebeck then hit a two-run single to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.

    "Once we got a 3-0 lead I continued to be aggressive. I threw up and down the strike zone, and East and West and I made them swing at my pitch," Clemens said. "You've just got to hang on and hope the other guy cracks first and fortunately that's what happened tonight."

    Haney gave up three earned runs on five hits and three walks in 6-plus innings.

    Notes

  • Clemens struck out the side in the second inning. He has fanned the side 117 times in his career.
  • Clemens struck out Terry Pendleton in the fifth for his 200th strikeout of the season.
  • He has 10 or more seasons with 200 strikeouts in his career.
  • Clemens snapped the Blue Jays' three-game losing streak. He is 129-53 in his career following a team loss.
  • Cruz had his career-high 18 game hitting streak snapped.
  • Jose Offerman's streak of reaching base safely via a hit or a walk in 43 consecutive games was snapped.
  • Kansas City Chief's owner Lamar Hunt and John Hayes of Western Resources have withdrawn their offer to buy the Kansas City Royals. The board of the directors for the Royals will now work with the Miles Prentice group to finalize its bifor the team.

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