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Clemens dominant in Houston debut

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Clemens dominant in Houston debut

Postby WebHamster » Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:00 am

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Roger Clemens allowed just one hit through seven scoreless innings in his first National League start, as the Houston Astros salvaged the finale of their season-opening three-game series with a 10-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Minute Maid Park.

Clemens (1-0), who came out of retirement during the offseason, struck out nine and held Giants slugger Barry Bonds in check during his quest to tie Willie Mays for third place on the all-time home run list. Bonds finished 0- for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk and remained at 659 career homers.

"It sure was nice coming home," Clemens said. "It was just real enjoyable."

Jeff Kent homered and drove in four runs while Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo also homered in the victory. Craig Biggio went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI for Houston.

Neifi Perez drove in the lone run for San Francisco, which will take its 2-1 record to San Diego for a three-game set.

Jerome Williams started on the hill for the Giants and suffered the loss after allowing five runs and six hits over six innings of work. Williams (0-1) fanned four and walked two.

After Clemens intentionally walked Bonds in the top of the first, he got out of the inning when Pedro Feliz flied out.

The Astros then took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame. Biggio led off with a ground-rule double to right and scored two outs later when Kent stroked a two-base hit.

Hidalgo pushed the Houston lead to two with a leadoff home run over the left- field wall in the second.

Another homer the following inning made it 4-0. After Adam Everett was hit by a pitch and stole second, Bagwell belted his first home run of the young season to left.

"Roger picked us up and we got a tremendous performance from him," said Bagwell. "The fans seemed very excited. It's nice that they got a chance to see what they were looking for."

A Bagwell sacrifice fly in the home fifth brought home Biggio for the five-run advantage.

In the top of the seventh, Bonds, who looked at a called third strike in the fourth, came to the plate. Clemens again made Bonds go back to the dugout, as a low fastball caught the corner for another strikeout.

"Me and Roger have a lot of respect for each other, there's no doubt about that," Bonds said. "He'll come at me sometimes and he'll have his way. Sometimes I'll have my way. Tonight, it went his way."

Kent then got into the action with a three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh. Reliever Kevin Walker started the inning for the Giants and gained two quick outs, but Everett singled and Bagwell walked before Kent took Walker over the wall in left for an 8-0 lead.

A Marquis Grissom double off Dan Miceli began the Giants' eighth before Perez knocked him home with a single for the only visitors' run.

The scoring was capped in the Astros eighth. Pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro ripped an RBI double that scored Hidalgo and Palmeiro then scored on an RBI single by Biggio.
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