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Rocket Separates Twins

With his team on the verge of losing three straight, Roger Clemens looked like an ace again.

Clemens allowed four hits in 8 2-3 sharp innings, outpitching former Yankees farmhand Eric Milton as New York beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 Monday night.

"Tonight I was able to keep the momentum in our own dugout and the guys fought hard," Clemens said. "Milton pitched a great game."

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Game Summary

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  • Shane Spencer's single with one out in the eighth broke a scoreless tie as the Yankees salvaged a four-game split. New York won the opener 14-2 Friday, but scored a total of six runs in losing Saturday and Sunday.

    Clemens (11-5), winner of the last two AL Cy Young Awards, has not shown that dominant form often this season.

    But he faced the minimum 24 batters through eight innings in improving to 20-10 lifetime against the Twins. He struck out two and walked one in throwing 110 pitches.

    "He's tried at times this year to just be so fine," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "But I think he's come here for one reason, to get to the postseason and World Series. I don't think he's caught up in how many games he's won."

    Clemens departed after allowing a single to pinch-hitter Marty Cordova with two outs in the ninth. Mariano Rivera closed for his 33rd save.

    "There have been some long days in between starts," Clemens said. "But it's what I do and I enjoy doing it."

    Milton (4-10), traded to Minnesota in 1998 as part of the Chuck Knoblauch deal, retired 16 straight before walking Jorge Posada with one out in the eighth. He allowed just one runner through seven innings and went to a two-ball count only twice in that span for his third complete game of the season.

    Milton, who has a Yankees logo tattooed on his left shoulder and a smaller Twins logo on his right shoulder, said facing the Yankees didn't give him any extra incentive.

    "At this point, it's just another team," Milton said. "I felt I gave my team a chance to win. We just couldn't pull it out."

    Neither team got a runner to second in the first seven innings.

    Posada walked with one out in the eighth and Tino Martinez singled for his second hit of the game. After Spencer's RBI single, a wild pickoff throw by Milton set up Scott Brosius' sacrifice fly.

    Chad Allen singled in the Twins third but was erased on a double-play grounder. In the fourth, Todd Walker blooped a hit down the left-field line with two outs and was thrown out by Spencer trying to stretch it to a double.

    Corey Koskie walked with two outs in the fifth and was thrown out trying to steal. Allen singled again to lead off the sixth, but Martinez turned a double play on Doug Mientkiewicz's hard grounder.


  • The Twins (1) and Yankees (2) combined to leave three runners on base, one more than the AL record done many times.
  • Torre dismissed speculation that David Cone would miss a start after the right-hander's fastball was consistently clocked in the low 80-mph range during Minnesota's 6-3 victory Saturday. "There was no pain, he just had nothing," said Torre, who stressed that Cone's arm was sound.
  • Torre said hitting coach Chris Chambliss sounded much better when the manager spoke to him in the hospital Sunday. Chambliss is suffering from a urinary tract infection.
  • Todd Walker, who went 1-for-3, is hitting .375 (3-for-8) against Clemens in his career.

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