Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
MLB Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
Jays' HRs chase Yanks' Irabu in 5-4 win, Bronx brawl
Posted: Saturday September 12, 1998 12:46 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- While the Rocket kept his streak intact, the Yankees and Blue Jays couldn't hold on to their tempers.
Roger Clemens, who has 13-game winning streak, pitched five innings before leaving with an apparent bruised right palm and a no-decision, and Toronto hit four homers off Hideki Irabu for a 5-4 win in game delayed by a bench clearing.
Toronto won for the 12th time in 14 games to stay within five games of Boston in the American League wild-card race. The AL East champion Yankees had their three-game winning streak stopped and fell to 11-12 in their last 23 games.
Tony Fernandez hit a two-run homer and Carlos Delgado, Jose Cruz Jr. and Shannon Stewart each hit solo homers for the Blue Jays. Stewart's leadoff shot in the seventh broke a 4-all tie and chased Irabu (11-9).
Clemens and Irabu exchanged beanballs earlier in the game, touching off a near-brawl reminiscent of the Yankees' clash with Baltimore in May.
Trailing 3-0, the Yankees tied it with a three-run fourth off Clemens. Tino Martinez hit an RBI double and Jorge Posada had a run-scoring groundout before Ricky Ledee's sacrifice fly to deep right made it 3-all.
Yankees manager Joe Torre came out to argue with plate umpire Mike Reilly and was tossed before the inning ended peacefully.
But Irabu touched things off in the top of the fifth by hitting Stewart in the back with his first pitch. Irabu charged the plate and was held back as both benches and bullpens emptied.
After some finger pointing, the swarm of players and coaches drifted toward the visitors' dugout, much like the ugly May 19 brawl between the Yankees and Orioles that resulted in five suspensions.
Strawberry threw a wild punch as things escalated and Stewart was momentarily knocked to the ground as players held each other back.
Clemens struck out five through the first two innings and didn't give up a hit until Brosius singled through the middle with one out in the third. The next batter, Joe Girardi, hit a hard comebacker that Clemens bare-handed to start a double play.
Clemens took a couple of warmup pitches to make sure his right hand was OK. Two pitches later, Clemens' wrist was checked after he knocked down Chuck Knoblauch's liner.
Yankees fans began to cheer when Clemens was way out of the strike zone with his second set of warmup tosses, but the right-hander quieted them down by striking out Jeter to end the third.
After warming up to start the sixth, Clemens motioned to the Blue Jays' dugout and was replaced by Almanzar. Clemens was charged with three runs and seven hits in five innings with seven strikeouts.
Torre was hoping to see some improvement from Irabu, who had lost three of his previous four starts and was quickly pitching himself out of postseason plans.
"We just want to see a quality outing," Torre said before the game. "He doesn't have to try to be Roger Clemens or anything."
Irabu looked like a Clemens clone at the start, striking out the side in order in the first and fanning Delgado to open the second before Fernandez connected for his seventh homer.
Irabu gave up five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings with eight strikeouts.
Delgado led off the fourth with his 31st homer to make it 3-0.
Notes: Yankees GM Brian Cashman wouldn't confirm a report that the club agreed with second baseman Chuck Knoblauch on a $9 million, two-year contract extension when he was acquired from Minnesota in February. "Right now, all we have is the old contract," he said. ... The Yankees must finish 14-3 to break the record of 116 wins set by the '06 Cubs. ... Clemens is one strikeout shy of tying Bob Gibson for 10th place on the career list. Clemens, who has 3,116 strikeouts, is one of 11 members of the 3,000-strikeout club. He hasn't lost since May 29 against Cleveland.
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.