The Yankees now even lose when they win. In the process of Roger Clemens picking up his 350th career victory, in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins, Alex Rodriguez had to leave the game with a strained hamstring.
With two men aboard in the 6th, A-Rod hit a double play grounder to third. In lunging to beat the throw from 2nd Baseman Luis Castillo to 1st, A-Rod hooked feet with Twins 1st Baseman Justin Morneau, sending both to the ground. Although he popped up immediately, it was obvious that A-Rod's hamstring was hurting. A-Rod tried to stay in the game, but after moving to 2nd on a base hit, told 3rd Base coach Larry Bowa that he didn't think he could score on a hit. That was enough for Bowa to signal for assistant trainer Steve Donahue and A-Rod's night was over. He'll be re-evaluated today and will most likely be out of action for at least a couple of days.
Clemens meanwhile looked like the vintage Rocket, dominating the Twins lineup. Clemens' fastball reached 93 mph as he limited the Twins to just 2 hits over 8 innings. He didn't allow a base runner after Joe Mauer's double to lead off the 4th, retiring the last 15 men he faced. Having thrown just 97 pitches, he could have gone out for the 9th, but Joe Torre wanted to give Mariano Rivera some work. Clemens became the 8th pitcher in major league history, the first since Warren Spahn in 1963 to reach 350 career wins.
As for the offense, Bobby Abreu snapped out of his slump, at least for one night with 3 hits. The biggest ignited a 4-run 6th inning when he blasted a shot about a third of the way up the upper deck in right. The Yankees then loaded the bases against Boof Bonser. Reliever Juan Rincon walked Melky Cabrera to force in a run. Derek Jeter's seeing eye grounder off Matt Guerrier eluded 3rd Baseman Jeff Cirillo and resulted in a 2-run single and a 5-1 lead.
Brian Cashman confirmed after the game that he spoke to both A-Rod and his wife Cynthia about her tastes in t-shirts. He would not go into specifics.