Clemens denied win as Astros edge Braves 3-2


NEW YORK, Reuters

Roger Clemens pitched seven strong innings the day before his 42nd birthday but failed to pick up the win as the Astros rallied to defeat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in National League play in Houston on Tuesday.

Clemens allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks and left with a 2-1 lead after walking two batters to start the eighth.

However, the Braves tied the game off Danny Miceli before Jose Vizcaino’s RBI groundout scored the winning run in the bottom of the frame.

Clemens remains at 322 career wins, just two behind Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton for 12th place on the career list.

Miceli (4-5) pitched one inning to get credit for the win before Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

Craig Biggio homered for the Astros, while Morgan Ensberg added a pair of hits and drove in a run.

Andruw Jones had two hits and an RBI for the Braves.

Russ Ortiz allowed just two runs on seven hits over seven innings before Chris Reitsma (4-3) was tagged with the loss, charged with one run on two hits in one inning.

In other games, Al Leiter pitched seven strong innings as the New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3.

Leiter (8-3) allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Mike Cameron homered and had three hits for the Mets, while Joe McEwing had two hits and three RBI.

Chris Capuano (5-6) allowed five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.

Geoff Jenkins homered for the Brewers.

In Denver, Kerry Wood pitched eight solid innings to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Colorado Rockies 5-3.

Wood (6-4) allowed three runs on six hits — all three runs coming in the first inning — striking out six and walking three.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 17th save and Derrek Lee homered for Chicago.

Danny Bautista hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-3 win over the Florida Marlins.

Arizona ended an 11-game home losing streak, with Mike Koplove (3-2) getting the win with a scoreless inning of relief.

Greg Aquino pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save and Shea Hillendbrand also homered for the Diamondbacks.

Paul Lo Duca had three hits and drove in a run for the Marlins. Dontrelle Willis (8-7) allowed four runs on eight hits over seven innings.

In San Francisco, Barry Bonds hit a pair of monstrous home runs, giving him 29 on the season and 687 in his career, to lead the Giants to an 11-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Tony Batista hit a grand slam in the top of the 12th inning after tying the game with a two-run homer in the ninth, leading the Montreal Expos to a 10-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

In San Diego, Jim Thome homered and Brett Myers pitched six strong innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Padres 5-2.

Brad Penny pitched eight shutout innings in his Los Angeles debut, leading the Dodgers to a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres.