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Rocket, Jays Shutout Mariners


The way Roger Clemens is pitching, the game was over after the first half of the opening inning.
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  • "The odds are with a four-run lead, it's going to be tough against Roger," teammate Jose Canseco said. "It's not likely you're going to score five or six runs against him."

    Clemens won his 10th straight decision and pitched his first shutout of the season, leading the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

    When Clemens (15-6) came out to pitch the first, he had a 4-0 lead on a two-run single by Carlos Delgado and a two-run homer by Jose Cruz Jr.

    "Roger is the best pitcher I've ever seen," said Cruz, who was Randy Johnson's teammate in Seattle last season. "Randy is super intense, but Roger is even more intense. Imagine that?"

    Said Clemens: "When I get a big lead like that early, it definitely takes the wind out of the other team's sails. It's real good to see that. It makes it a lot easier."

    Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr., falling out of the home-run race, failed to homer in his fifth straight game, going 0-for-4. The AL home-run leader with 42 has one homer in his last 18 games and 77 at-bats.

    He trails Mark McGwire of St. Louis, who homered twice Thursday to increase his total to 51, by nine. Last season, McGwire outhomered Griffey 58-56.

    Clemens pitched a three-hitter, walked two and struck out six in recording his 42nd career shutout to lower his ERA t2.90. In going 10-0 since his last loss to Cleveland 7-3 May 29, he also has five no decisions.

    The four-time AL Cy Young Award winner started last season 11-0.

    Clemens, who never has pitched a no-hitter, gave up an infield hit to David Segui to open the fifth. Rob Ducey and Joey Cora singled for the Mariners in the sixth.

    Clemens has one career one-hitter and 11 two-hitters.

    "After that first hit, you just concentrate on getting outs," Clemens said.

    "Roger knows what he's got to do," Toronto manager Tim Johnson said. "That's why he's a Hall of Famer. No question about it."

    The Blue Jays outscored the Mariners 23-2 and outhit them 35-9 in the two-game series. Toronto had 21 hits, including seven homers, in a 16-2 win over Seattle Wednesday night.

    Seattle lost for the seventh time in nine games.

    Cruz Jr., traded by the Mariners to the Blue Jays last year, hit his second homer in two nights against his former team to lead a 14-hit attack.

    The Blue Jays took a 4-0 lead in the first off Bill Swift (10-7) on Carlos Delgado's two-run single and Cruz's two-run homer. Shawn Green added an RBI single in the second.

    In the fourth, Toronto made it 7-0 on RBI doubles by Green and Jose Canseco.

    Swift gave up seven runs on 12 hits and two walks in six innings.

    Swift developed a case of hives all over his arms two days ago. Maybe he was allergic to Clemens.

    "Rocket threw a great game," Swift said. "It didn't matter if it was one run or seven. Give him a four-run lead and it's over."

    "He had everything working today," the Mariners' John Marzano said. "When he got behind, he wasn't throwing a fastball. He'd throw a split or a slider. When he's like that throwing as hard as he was, he's almost impossible to hit."

    Notes

  • Clemens moved into a tie for 37th place with Catfish Hunter and Bucky Walters on the career shutout list.
  • Clemens' six strikeouts gave him 3,073 for his career, which is good for 11th on the career list. Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is 10th with 3,117.
  • In four starts in August, Clemens is 2-0 with a 1.41 ERA.
  • Clemens pitched his third complete game of the year and the 112th of his career.
  • Cruz extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.
  • The Blue Jays had three stolen bases, including Shannon Stewart's 38th, giving them 145, most in the majors. They had two batters hit by pitches, giving them 74, most in the AL.
  • Toronto won its fourth in a row from Seattle. The Blue Jays won the season series 7-4.
  • Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 to snap his 12-game hitting streak.

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