The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is looking to win three straight decisions for the first time this season. On Friday, Clemens got his 333rd win with his 500th decision, dominating the Kansas City Royals in a 7-0 victory.
Clemens allowed four hits in six innings, struck out six and walked three, lowering his major league-leading ERA to 1.53. The Rocket, ninth on the careers wins list, has not surrendered a run in five road starts this year spanning 32 innings.
“Actually, every start’s been pretty fascinating,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “He’s been phenomenal. He’s had maybe two games where he hasn’t had his best stuff, but he still manages to stay out of the middle of the plate. He manages to stay out of trouble, or get out of trouble.”
On Tuesday, Lance Berkman hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning helping the Astros overcome a costly defensive mistake in their 6-5 win the middle game of the series
Jason Lane cost Houston a run, and eventually its lead, in the sixth with an almost-comical attention lapse on defense. With runners on second and third, Colorado’s Garrett Atkins drove in Helton with a sacrifice fly to right. But after making the catch, Lane turned around and flipped the ball into the stands, apparently thinking the inning was over.
Preston Wilson took the opportunity to score on Lane’s gaffe, bringing the Rockies to 4-2.
That happens to everybody—it happens to me about once or twice a year,” said Berkman, a notorious clubhouse jokester. “That’s one of those things we’ll look back on and laugh about. It’s going to be good comedy sometime down the road.”
Lane wasn’t laughing though.
“It’s hard for me to find humor in this right now because I take pride in my defense,” Lane said. “I’m mad at myself. It’s frustrating and embarrassing
Houston has won six of its last eight series, with its only losses coming June 3-5 when it dropped two of three to NL Central-leading St. Louis and June 13-15 when it was swept in three games by Baltimore, the top team in the AL East.
The Rockies, last in the NL with a 22-47 record, have dropped four straight. Colorado starter Jamey Wright dropped to 0-11 in 16 appearances, including 15 starts, against Houston.
Wright is the only active pitcher to go winless in at least 10 decisions against one team.