Soriano, Matsui provide offensive punch

BALTIMORE (AP) -- With a masterful performance in a ballpark that
never treated him kindly, The Rocket matched Old Hoss on baseball's
career victory list.

Roger Clemens moved into a tie for 17th place on the prestigious
list, allowing two earned runs in seven innings to lead the New
York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Tuesday night.

Clemens (15-9), who plans to retire after this season, gave up
seven hits in his 308th victory, tying Charley "Old Hoss"

Before the game, Clemens pasted a picture of Radbourn's Hall of
Fame plaque above his locker. Afterward, he paid homage to the
pitcher who won 60 games in 1884.

"Passing these old-timers with great nicknames in their own
right is great for me," Clemens said.

Alfonso Soriano hit his third homer in two nights and Hideki
Matsui drove in three runs for the Yankees, who maintained their
5{-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East.

Pitching for the final time in Baltimore, Clemens allowed three
runs, struck out four and walked none to finish 6-6 with a 4.21 ERA
at Camden Yards. He was 6-2 at Memorial Stadium, where the Orioles
played through 1991.

"I've enjoyed playing here. I thought the other one was a
little more friendly to the pitchers," Clemens said. "This one is
more conducive to the hitters. But I remember pitching in packed
houses once they moved."

Clemens has 940 strikeouts with the Yankees, tied with Dave
Righetti for 10th place.

"I'm not going to be sad to never see him again against us,"
Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 38th save in 44
opportunities. He has converted 13 straight chances and has not
yielded a run in his last 11 appearances.

Pedro Swann hit his first major league home run for the Orioles,
who have lost six of seven and fell a season-worst 16 games under
.500 (67-83).

New York went up 4-1 with a three-run sixth against Jason
Johnson (10-8). Bernie Williams drew a leadoff walk and Jorge
Posada doubled before Matsui hit a tapper to first. B.J. Surhoff
fielded the ball and flipped it to Johnson as Williams scored.

Although replays showed Johnson beat Matsui to the base, umpire
Fieldin Culbreth ruled Johnson missed the bag. Hargrove argued with
Culbreth, to no avail.

One out later, Karim Garcia hit a short fly ball to left, but
Swann didn't attempt to nab Posada at the plate, apparently
thinking there were three outs. Soriano followed with an RBI

The Orioles got a run in the bottom half on a double by Larry
Bigbie and a single by Jay Gibbons, but Matsui hit a two-run single
in the seventh to make it 6-2.

The inning also included the ejection of Hargrove, who got into
a second dispute with Culbreth after the umpire called Williams
safe on a throw to first that Surhoff juggled.

Johnson allowed six runs -- four earned -- in six-plus innings. It
was the seventh straight start in which the right-hander failed to
get what would be a career-high 11th win.

"Tonight was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I could
only laugh on the mound," Johnson said. "Nobody's here to see the
umpires. They're here to see the Yankees and Orioles. But they made
it into some kind of circus out there.

"When you're facing the Yankees, you're going to have a hard
enough time with their hitters in the first place. Throw in an
umpire who's not going to give you any calls, it makes it twice as

Both teams put a runner in scoring position twice in the first
four innings before Soriano broke up the scoreless duel with his
32nd homer.

Johnson then threw a pitch behind Nick Johnson, and plate umpire
Dan Iassogna issued a warning to both dugouts. Johnson stomped
toward the plate, yelling that the pitch merely got away from him,
before Hargrove shoved the pitcher aside and finished the argument.

Baltimore tied it with an unearned run in the bottom half.

Game notes
Although Hurricane Isabel is supposed to influence the
weather in the Baltimore area Thursday, the Orioles-Yankees game
will not be moved up from its scheduled 7:05 p.m. starting time,
the Orioles announced. If the game is canceled, it will be made up
in New York on the final weekend of the season.