Clemens Is at 286 Wins and Counting

Wednesday, May 15th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Roger Clemens' career victory total is growing at a rapid rate. Same goes for his photo collection.

The Rocket won his fifth straight start and earned his 286th lifetime win, pitching the New York Yankees past the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-3 Tuesday night.

Clemens (6-2) gave up one run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings and tied Hall of Famer Robin Roberts for 23rd place on the career wins list.

Clemens has an action photo of Roberts in his locker at Yankee Stadium, along with pictures of some of the other pitchers he has passed this season, such as Jim Kaat and Ferguson Jenkins.

``To have the opportunity to chase down some great names this year like I have makes it fun,'' Clemens said. ``To hear interesting stories about these guys, I'd love to have more of a chance to visit with these guys and find out more.''

Next up on his drive to win No. 300 is Bert Blyleven (287). Blyleven is a broadcaster for Minnesota, and intends to give Clemens an autographed picture when the Twins visit this weekend.

Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada hit consecutive home runs, and John Vander Wal also connected as the Yankees won their seventh in a row.

Elsewhere in the AL, it was: Toronto 6, Seattle 3; Boston 6, Oakland 2; Anaheim 9, Detroit 2; Cleveland 6, Baltimore 5; Chicago 15, Texas 4, and Kansas City 8, Minnesota 1.

The visiting Devil Rays lost for the 16th time in 18 games. They are 0-7 against the Yankees this season, getting outscored 39-10.

``We don't make the schedule but you have to play it,'' New York manager Joe Torre said. ``We don't take it as playing the Devil Rays and thinking automatically we're going to beat them.''

The benches and bullpens emptied after Derek Jeter took exception to a high-and-tight pitch from Devil Rays reliever Jesus Colome during a six-run eighth. No punches were thrown and the game was delayed for only a couple of minutes.