All he carries with him are the ghosts of Roger Moret and Bucky Dent, Smokey Joe Wood and the other gremlins that go with Boston pennants already lost and Boston pennants not yet lost.

On a steamy, dramatic night, 23-year-old Roger Clemens chewed away a few more legends.

He was not perfect, but as he has been 13 other times this season, he was good enough, allowing seven hits in eight innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3.

With the second-largest regular season crowd in Orioles history -- 52,159 -- packed into Memorial Stadium, Clemens became only the fifth pitcher in major league history to start a season with a 14-0 record.

He did it in style, too, with a one-walk, 11-strikeout performance, with the Orioles clocking some of his 121 pitches as hard as 95 mph and well over 90 into the ninth inning.

He got four strikeouts against Orioles center fielder Fred Lynn, who was playing for the first time in 18 games after being activated today, and got Jim Dwyer and Rick Dempsey twice each. He left Orioles on base in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.

"I didn't have my best stuff until the third inning," Clemens said. "I don't know how they the Orioles feel, but I couldn't turn it up until the third inning. My best innings were the third through the sixth."

This was not his easiest game, as Eddie Murray homered twice for the Orioles, the first one giving Baltimore a 1-0 second-inning lead.

In the end, Clemens was at his best after the Orioles closed to within 4-3 with a two-run seventh. With the tying run on second, Clemens struck out pinch hitter Mike Young to preserve the lead.

The Red Sox got him another run in the top of the ninth -- they've averaged 6.9 runs in his 15 starts -- and it appeared he might need it after Murray walked to lead off the ninth and Cal Ripken lined a single to left to put the tying runs on base.

Red Sox Manager John McNamara brought in left-hander Joe Sambito, and Orioles Manager Earl Weaver countered with Lee Lacy, who flied to right for the first out as Murray went to third.

Weaver sent up Kelly Paris to bat off the left-hander, and McNamara brought in Bob Stanley, who got Paris to hit into a game-ending double play.

"I wasn't worried when Murray hit the first home run," Clemens said. "My goal then was to hang onto the 1-0 deficit. We usually come back and score some runs. I was personally a little disappointed I let them back in the game in the seventh inning. I wanted to kick myself. But it's tough to face the same team twice in a week. I knew it was going to be a battle.

"With a guy like Murray, there's nothing you can do. I got behind him, and I didn't want to walk him. So you tip your hat to him."

The victory gives the first-place Red Sox (46-25) an eight-game lead in the American League East over the third-place Orioles (38-33), who lost for the 13th time in 18 games.

Clemens had beaten the Orioles six days earlier, and in both games, Ken Dixon (6-6) has been his victim. Tonight, Dixon didn't allow a home run for the first time in 10 starts, but the Red Sox beat him by stringing together six singles in the sixth inning.

In all, Boston got 15 hits off five Orioles pitchers, with second baseman Marty Barrett and first baseman Bill Buckner getting three apiece and center fielder Tony Armas hitting his second homer.

"They weren't hit hard, but they were hits," Dixon said. "I don't know what to say. Roger Clemens won his 14th, and that's what this will be remembered for."

Only four pitchers in big league history have had better starts than Clemens: Rube Marquard of the 1912 New York Giants (19-0), ElRoy Face of the 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates (17-0), Johnny Allen of the 1937 Cleveland Indians (15-0) and Dave McNally of the 1969 Orioles (15-0).

On a 2-0 pitch from Clemens in the second, Murray hit a towering homer that cleared the center field fence by eight feet and landed in the bleachers behind it.

Dixon was sharp until the sixth inning, retiring 15 in a row at one point. That streak ended in the sixth when the Red Sox got three runs and a 3-1 lead by sending eight men to the plate.

Gedman led off with a single to right, and Ed Romero followed with a single to right. Barrett lined into a double play, but Wade Boggs, Bill Buckner, Jim Rice and Don Baylor followed with singles to score three runs.

"A couple feet either way on any of those balls, and we're out of the inning," said Weaver, who used every player on his bench and in his bullpen. "Buckner's was a broken bat. Clemens threw better tonight than he did in Boston, but we were so close to beating him. He's got such good stuff that he's going to keep you in every game in pitches."

Reliever Rich Bordi got the final out of the sixth, but Armas led off the seventh with his second homer of the season to make it 4-1.

After Murray's first homer, Clemens retired 11 in order before Larry Sheets lined a single to right-center with two outs in the fifth. Juan Bonilla grounded out to Buckner at first to end the inning.

Clemens retired five more in order -- three on strikeouts -- before Murray came up with one out in the seventh and hit his second homer of the game and 11th of the season, another towering one over the fence in right-center that made it 4-2. That homer gave Murray 269 homers for his career, moving him past Brooks Robinson for second place on the Orioles' all-time list, behind Boog Powell (303).

Ripken followed that with a single to left and took second on Rice's error. After Dwyer struck out, Sheets' lined a double off the left field wall to score Ripken and make it 4-3. Clemens ended the inning with his 10th strikeout, getting Young and leaving Sheets on second.

The Red Sox made it 5-3 in the ninth after Gedman led off with a double off reliever Brad Havens and was bunted to third by Romero. Barrett scored him with a single to left, and singles by Boggs and Buckner loaded the bases. Reliever Don Aase got the final two outs to keep the margin at 5-3