Rocket Carries Yankees In Game Three

If this really was the last start of Roger Clemens' storied career, he certainly made the most of it. Facing a raucous Metrodome crowd Clemens completely dominated the Minnesota Twins, keeping them to just one run while the Yankee offense continued to struggle. Clemens notched his 10th postseason victory as the Yankees won 3-1 and took a 2-1 lead in the Division Series.

Clemens was nothing short of brilliant. He walked the first batter he faced, then clamped down and got Matt LeCroy to strike out swinging with Shannon Stewart at third base. The Rocket didn't allow his first hit until the third inning, when AJ Pierzynski led off the frame with a solo homerun to deep right.

But the Yankees had done some scoring of their own before that. Bernie Williams led off the third inning with a double and advanced to third base on Jorge Posada's groundout. Hideki Matsui then crushed a high fastball into the folded seats in right to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. It was the first homerun of Matsui's Major League postseason career.

Williams' single with two on in the third made it 3-0.

Clemens managed to keep out of trouble by consistently getting ahead of batters before finishing them off. When he did get in trouble, he was able to get out of it. With two outs in the 5th inning and runners at the corners, Clemens got pinch hitter Matt Ryan to strike out swinging to end the inning.

Clemens (1-0) finished his night after seven strong innings. He allowed just a run on five hits and a walk while striking out six batters and throwing just 99 pitches – 71 for strikes.

Joe Torre called on Mariano Rivera to pitch the final two innings for the second straight game. Rivera was perfect, just like in game two, and struck out three batters to earn his second save of the playoffs.

Kyle Lohse (0-1) started for the Twins and came out throwing fireballs. He fanned two batters in the first inning, but couldn't maintain that form after that. He allowed three runs on six hits and a pair of walks over five innings before giving way to the bullpen.

Kenny Rogers, JC Romero and Juan Rincon each pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball to keep the game close for the Twins, but the offense couldn't get anything going.

Game four of the series will take place on Sunday at either 4 pm or 6 pm depending on the outcome of the Atlanta and Cubs game Saturday. David Wells will start for the Yankees against the Twins' Johan Santana (0-0, 0.00).

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