OAKLAND, OCT. 9 -- Roger Clemens wanted to pitch Wednesday's Game 4 of the American League Championship Series only if Boston lost to the Oakland Athletics this afternoon and trailed this best-of-seven affair by 3-0.

They did, so Clemens will oppose Dave Stewart in a rematch of Game 1 and a rekindling of the rivalry Stewart has dominated by winning their past seven matchups. Had the Red Sox won today, Clemens would not have pitched until Game 5.

"Roger told me he'd prefer to pitch {Wednesday} only if we lose and that he would feel better waiting if we win," said Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan.

Asked if he'd prefer that Clemens, who was sidelined for 25 days last month with severe tendinitis in his shoulder, start Game 4 regardless of today's result, Morgan had replied: "If he's healthy. . . . His health is our primary concern. I have to go by what he tells me."

Said Greg Harris, who would have started Game 4 if Clemens hadn't: "We have to worry about Roger's arm first and foremost. That's the most valuable property in the franchise. So what he says, goes." . .

Longtime friends and former Red Sox teammates Dwight Evans and Dennis Eckersley continued their feud in Oakland's 4-1 victory today.

Evans had called Eckersley's first-pumping theatrics on the mound "unprofessional" after striking out on three pitches against the A's reliever in the eighth inning of Game 2. When Eckersley struck out Evans in the ninth inning today, he pointed his finger menacingly at Evans -- who responded with a flurry of profanity. Afterward, Eckersley said: "It's all in fun. Of course, I'm having more fun than Dewey because I keep striking him out."

But to Red Sox players' allegations of ball-scuffing, Eckersley responded angrily. "That's the whining of a team that's losing and can't find a way to score any runs," he said. Evans declined to answer questions about his dealings with Eckersley. . . .

A's left fielder Rickey Henderson was thrown out trying to steal third base in the seventh inning, the first time in 15 career postseason steal attempts he has been caught. However, he had a single to extend his postseason hitting streak to 11 games.