Clemens Blows Away Angels

Maybe it was the socks. Since the All-Star Break, Roger Clemens (10-7) had switched to wearing high socks over his pants instead of his usual under-the-pants look and, perhaps coincidentally, he had been struggling. Wednesday, he switched back to his usual style to face the Angels for the last time in his career. He threw a complete-game, five-hit shutout against the World Champions to lead the Yankees to a 8-0 victory.

It was just Clemens' first complete game of the season, and his first complete game since May of 2000. It was also just the latest in the Rocket's career-long domination over the Angels. Since joining the league in 1984, Clemens has put up a 29-8 lifetime record against the Angels, his most wins against any team, and it was more of the same on Wednesday.

Like Tuesday's game, the Yankees got off to a hot start against Angels starter John Lackey (7-10). Derek Jeter led off the game with a double, and one out later Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada walked to load the bases. Hideki Matsui followed with a two-RBI single to give Clemens all the runs he would need.

Clemens allowed just five hits and a walk over his nine innings. He struck out five batters and retired the side in order six times with the help of two double plays to earn his tenth win of the season.

The Yankees continued to tack on runs throughout the game. In the third, Jason Gambi pounded out his 30th homerun of the season to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead. A Matsui sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 4-0, and a three-run seventh highlighted by Giambi's two-run double put the Yanks up by seven.

Lackey lasted 6 2/3 innings – Giambi's double chased him from the game – and allowed seven runs on six hits and four walks while striking out nine batters.

Alfonso Soriano, hitting just .178 since July 7, was given the day off. Enrique Wilson played second and batted ninth.

The final game of the three-game series will be on Thursday at 10:05 pm. David Wells (12-3, 3.80) will take the mound for the Yankees. Aaron Sele (6-8, 5.17) will get the start for the Angels, looking to avoid a sweep at home.

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