Yanks Win in 17th, Still No 300 For Clemens

It's almost as if the baseball gods want to make Roger Clemens have a heart attack. For the second time, Roger Clemens failed to get his 300th career victory, as a 7-1 Yankee lead turned into a 17-inning game at Comerica Park due to some shoddy defense and shaky relief pitching. After all was said and done, it wasn't The Rocket getting the victory, but the Boomer – David Wells – as the Yankees pulled out a 10-9 victory.

11 innings after Clemens left the game with an 8-6 lead, Alfonso Soriano and Jorge Posada launched solo homeruns off of Steve Sparks to put the Yankees ahead for the last time. The Yankees won the three-game series against Detroit, two games to one. The Tigers still haven't won a series at home all season.

Sparks (0-2) threw 91 pitches in 7 2/3 innings in relief – for contrast, Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman threw 90 pitches in 4 2/3 innings – allowing two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four to take the loss.

The Yankees looked terrible for most of the game after the sixth inning. As a team, they made four errors leading to two unearned runs, both of which helped Detroit pull the game back within reach. Juan Rivera took the cake though, the young outfielder grounded into three double plays during the game. All three came with men in scoring position, and all three ended an inning.

Clemens pitched well, but the defense behind him made him look worse. In his second attempt at winning number 300, The Rocket tossed six innings, allowing six runs – four earned – on seven hits and a walk while fanning six.

Clemens' six strikeouts put him at 3,991 for his career – nine short of joining the prestigious 4,000-strikeout club, whose only members are Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136).

David Wells (7-2) came on in the 12th inning, making his first relief appearance since August 28, 1993. Wells pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits and one run with two strikeouts to post the victory.

The Yankees pounded out four homeruns during the game. Derek Jeter hit a two-run shot in the third and Todd Zeile added a solo homer in the sixth to go with Soriano and Posada's game-winning blasts.

Clemens will try again for win number 300 against the Chicago Cubs when the Yankees make an historic trip to Wrigley Field. The Yankees and Cubs haven't played each other since the 1938 World Series – which the Yankees won. Clemens will face NL strikeout leader Kerry Wood on Saturday.

The Yankees head into interleague play next after an off day on Monday. Tuesday kicks off a three-game series in Cincinnati against the Reds. Andy Pettitte (5-5, 4.93) will take the hill for the Yanks, looking to build on his solid last appearance. He will face the Reds' Jimmy Haynes (0-4, 10.72).

Notes: Carlos Pena pinch-hit in the seventh inning and hit an RBI single. Pena had missed the first two games of the series with an injured calf … The game lasted an unmanageable five hours and ten minutes, the longest ever at Comerica Park and the longest in Detroit since 1984.

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