Ottawa Citizen

Just like old times for Clemens, who picks up where he left off

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YANKEES 9, PIRATES 3

Roger Clemens paid the first dividend on his pro-rated $28-million U.S. contract by going six innings to earn the win in his 2007 debut yesterday as the New York Yankees beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3.

The burly 44-year-old right-hander, who won two World Series rings during his previous tour with the Yankees, allowed three runs and five hits, striking out seven and walking two to help the Yankees (29-31) to their fifth consecutiv­e victory.

Clemens finished strong, retiring the last seven batters he faced, capped by a strikeout against Ryan Doumit.

“They told me the sixth would be my last inning. I got a second wind and was able to get through it,” Clemens said after his 108-pitch stint.

“It was great getting back here. It was just a great day. The guys get you the lead, and it seems like old times.”

The seven-time Cy Young winner entered the game and exited to standing ovations from the crowd of 54,296 at New York’s Yankee Stadium.

Before taking the mound, Clemens performed an old ritual of his, rubbing his hand for luck against the forehead of Babe Ruth’s plaque behind the bullpen wall in left.

Clemens will make about $17.4 million for his partial season with the Yankees.

PHILLIES 4, ROYALS 0

The Philadelph­ia Phillies received a strong outing from starting pitcher Jon Lieber (3-4) to post their first victory in Kansas City since the 1980 World Series.

Leiber allowed just two runners past first base and Greg Dobbs drove in a pair of runs as the Phillies won for the sixth time in the past eight games, 4-0 against the Royals last night.

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