Clemens first to go 20-1

Thursday, September 20, 2001

CHICAGO -- Roger Clemens became the first pitcher in major league history to go 20-1, pitching the New York Yankees past the Chicago White Sox 6-3 Wednesday night.

The 39-year-old right-hander reached 20 wins for the sixth time in his career and became the oldest 20-game winner in the AL since Early Wynn did it in 1959, just shy of his 40th birthday.

The Rocket won his 16th straight decision, and earned his 280th career victory.

Mariano Rivera got his career-high 46th save, tying the team record set by Dave Righetti in 1986.

Derek Jeter homered twice, giving him 20 this season. Gary Glover (4-3) took the loss.


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alex Rodriguez hit his career-high 46th home run and wound up helping his old team -- the Seattle Mariners -- clinch the AL West with Texas' win over Oakland.

Rodriguez, who left the Mariners after last season and signed a $252 million, 10-year contract with Texas, had hoped to lead the Rangers to a title.

Instead, the Mariners became the first team in the majors to clinch a division championship by virtue of Oakland's loss. The Athletics had won nine in a row -- they still lead the wild card race by 11 games over Minnesota.

The Mariners were leading Anaheim 1-0 in the fourth inning at home when the Texas-Oakland result was posted on the Safeco Field scoreboard.

Seattle manager Lou Piniella shook hands with players and offered hugs in the dugout, while others slapped high-fives to celebrate the Mariners' third division title.

Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Tim Hudson (16-8), and Texas led the rest of the way. He moved closer to matching Ernie Banks' big league record of 47 home runs by a shortstop set in 1958.

Carlos Pena hit his first two home runs in the majors and Bill Haselman also connected for Texas. Doug Davis (10-8) won his fifth straight decision.


TORONTO -- Roy Halladay handed Baltimore its 10th straight loss, striking out a career-high 11 in leading the Toronto Blue Jays over the Orioles.

Baltimore is on its longest losing streak since a 10-game skid from June 23-July 3, 1999. The Orioles have lost 16 of their last 17, dropping to 55-89.

Halladay (4-2) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and walked none.

Paul Quantrill pitched a hitless eighth, and Billy Koch finished the five-hitter for his 33rd save in 38 chances.

Attendance was 31,303 for Cal Ripken bobblehead night. Ripken, who plans to retire at the end of the season, went 1-for-4.

Calvin Maduro (3-6) was the losing pitcher.


CLEVELAND -- Bartolo Colon pitched eight strong innings and Roberto Alomar and Jim Thome each had three RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Kansas City Royals.

Cleveland extended its AL Central lead to seven games over Minnesota with 16 games remaining. The teams play six times, including three in Minnesota this weekend.

Colon (13-11) struck out nine in his first start since Sept. 10.

Juan Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI double in the first off Jeff Suppan (9-12).


MINNEAPOLIS -- Bobby Higginson homered twice and Steve Sparks pitched a six-hitter, leading the Detroit Tigers over the Minnesota Twins 6-2.

The Twins' four-game winning streak ended.

Sparks (11-9) frustrated the Twins with his knuckleball while pitching his sixth complete game of the season, tying him with Arizona's Curt Schilling and Oakland's Mark Mulder for the major league lead.

Eric Milton (14-6) struck out Damion Easley with a 97 mph fastball to start the game, then gave up a home run to Higginson.


BOSTON -- Aubrey Huff had three of his career-high five RBIs in Tampa Bay's season-high, eight-run sixth inning as the Devil Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox.

Huff drove in the first run of the big inning with an RBI single and capped it with a two-run double as Tampa Bay snapped a five-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 15 games against the Red Sox this season. Boston has lost 14 of 16.

The most notable moment in the second game at Fenway Park since last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., came when the crowd stood and sang along to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" when prompted by the public address announcer to support "the heroes in New York."

Paul Wilson (7-8) was the winner and David Cone (8-6) took the loss.

-- From wire reports

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: