Roger Clemens won for the first time at Wrigley Field, keeping his perfect season intact by pitching the Houston Astros past the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, yesterday.
Clemens (8-0) came back from three straight no-decisions with seven sharp innings. The 41-year-old earned his 318th career victory, tying Phil Niekro for the 14th place on the all-time list.
Overall, Clemens has won 12 straight regular season decisions since Aug. 9.
"I'm not too worried about streaks. I think they're great because we're winning," Clemens said. "I don't put a lot of stock into them. I know that they could change at any time. So you want to try and ride them."
Clemens's only other start at Wrigley came last June when he pitched for the Yankees in search of his 300th win. He wound up taking the loss when the Cubs rallied against New York's bullpen.
This time, Clemens allowed one run -- on a broken-bat single -- and five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two in his 108-pitch outing.
* PADRES 2, ROCKIES 1: Jay Payton hit an RBI single past the glove of diving second baseman Aaron Miles with two outs in the 10th and host San Diego beat Colorado to avoid being swept in consecutive home series.
The Padres started their winning rally when Brian Fuentes (1-2) grazed leadoff batter Sean Burroughs with a 2-2 pitch. Burroughs advanced on Mark Loretta's sacrifice and Brian Giles's groundout before scoring on Payton's hit into right field off Vladimir Nunez, who came in during a double-switch.
* REDS 3, MARLINS 1: Sean Casey singled in the seventh to break up Dontrelle Willis's perfect-game bid, then hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth to lift visiting Cincinnati.
Casey's homer off left-hander Matt Perisho -- brought in to face the major leagues' leading hitter -- helped cap a three-game sweep of the Marlins, who hadn't been swept at home since San Francisco took three straight in South Florida in May 2003.
* METS 5, PHILLIES 3: Todd Zeile hit a tying three-run homer in the eighth and a two-run drive in the 10th, leading visiting New York over Philadelphia for a three-game sweep.
A night after Zeile hit tying homer in the eighth and a go-ahead single in the 10th in New York's 4-1 win, he did in the Phillies again.
* EXPOS 8, BRAVES 4: Backup catcher Einar Diaz drove in his first three runs of the season, and visiting Montreal beat Atlanta to avoid a three-game sweep.
It was only the third win in 13 games for the Expos, who have the worst record in the majors (17-35). Orlando Cabrera, Tony Batista and Juan Rivera each had three of Montreal's season-high 17 hits.
* DODGERS 5, BREWERS 2: Paul Lo Duca homered and drove in three runs, Edwin Jackson pitched five strong innings in an emergency start and host Los Angeles beat Milwaukee.
Jackson threw 96 pitches in his season debut after getting called up from the minors earlier in the day. He allowed one run, three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
The right-hander, 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 10 starts for Class AAA Las Vegas, shrugged off Scott Podsednik's second leadoff homer in two nights to improve his record as a big league starter to 3-1.
* CARDINALS 5, PIRATES 3: Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 17th home run, Tony Womack had four hits and visiting St. Louis beat Pittsburgh.
* DIAMONDBACKS 8, GIANTS 6: Randy Johnson won his fourth start in a row and Shea Hillenbrand homered and drove in three runs to lead host Arizona.