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Updated: Sunday, April 6, 2003 8:41 PM EDT
New York Yankees
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
10 15 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
5 11 0
W Clemens (2-0)
L Zambrano (0-1)
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Staked to a two-run lead before he took the mound, Roger Clemens worked seven innings to move within five wins of 300 as the New York Yankees posted a 10-5 win over the Tampa Bay Devils Rays.

Clemens (2-0) gave up four runs and six hits with three walks and six strikeouts to improve to 295-151 - the second-highest winning percentage among righthanders with at least 250 decisions. Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson was 373-188.

"I'm sensing he's looking beyond that," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Clemens' pursuit of 300. "I'm sure once he gets close to it, he's probably going to be a little high maintenance because he's going to try to be too perfect. He may stumble a bit, but I think overall he's looking to have the kind of season that Roger Clemens is supposed to have."

The six-time Cy Young Award winner threw 65 of 103 pitches for strikes and improved to 9-3 lifetime against the Devil Rays .

Clemens was not as sharp as he was on Opening Day, when he held a solid Toronto Blue Jays lineup to three hits in six scoreless innings.

"My situation was making sure I got everything out of the slider, cause I was feeling a little, not sluggish, but I wasn't feeling as great as I had," Clemens said.

Alfonso Soriano had his sixth straight multi-hit game as the Yankees scored at least eight runs for the fifth time in six games and concluded a season-opening road trip at 5-1.

Soriano led off a game with a home run for the ninth time in his career as he sent Victor Zambrano 's 2-0 pitch over the left field fence for his third homer of the season. Zambrano then appeared to hit Nick Johnson with a 3-2 pitch, but after Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella questioned the call, third base umpire Dana Demuth ruled that the ball hit Johnson's bat.

The appeal worked against Tampa Bay though, as Johnson launched Zambrano's next pitch over the right-center field fence for his first homer of the season and a 2-0 lead.

"I took a pretty good swing," Johnson said. "I just try to get some pretty good pitches. Throughout the lineup we have some good hitters and I just try to do my part in the lineup."

Zambrano (0-1) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs and six hits with six walks and two strikeouts.

"He had a very successful spring training, but in two starts since he has been totally opposite," Piniella said. "He's been behind in the count, been 3-2 on just about every hitter and hasn't trusted his stuff. You can't win up here and nibble, you have to trust your stuff."

Bernie Williams homered and drove in three runs for New York, which has won 16 of its last 22 meetings with Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay cut the deficit in half in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Marlon Anderson , but Williams had a sacrifice fly in the third to make it 3-1.

Former Devil Ray John Flaherty walked with one out in the sixth and moved to second on a wild pitch. Rookie Erick Almonte had an RBI double and he moved to third when Zambrano uncorked another wild pitch. Soriano followed with an RBI single to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead and chase Zambrano.

"I see the ball very good and swing very good, I feel comfortable right now," Soriano said. "It's very important right off the bat to get a run for the team. This team has a great offense. We score 10 runs every day."

With lefthander Mike Venafro pitching, Williams turned around and led off the seventh with his second homer of the season to make it 6-1. Rookie Hideki Matsui singled and Raul Mondesi doubled before Robin Ventura had a run-scoring single to chase Venafro. Flaherty had an RBI single off Travis Harper to give the Yankees an 8-1 bulge before Soriano flied out to end the inning.

Clemens appeared to tire in the seventh as he walked Travis Lee and allowed a single to Ben Grieve before getting Anderson to line out. Javier Valentin hit Clemens' 2-1 pitch over the left field fence for his first homer of the season, cutting the deficit to 8-4. Light-hitting Rey Ordonez followed with a single before Clemens got out of the inning by retiring Carl Crawford on a groundout and striking out rookie Rocco Baldelli for the fourth time.

Williams had a run-scoring double off Harper in the eighth and Almonte had an RBI single off Jorge Sosa in the ninth for New York's final run.

Crawford and Baldelli had run-scoring singles in the ninth before Juan Acevedo ended the game with both on base by striking out Aubrey Huff and getting Al Martin to line out.

Baldelli's single extended his hitting streak to seven games.

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