NEW YORK (AP)—Mike Cameron, Dan Wilson and the Seattle Mariners left Yankee Stadium with plenty of neat souvenirs—a pinstripe jersey signed by Roger Clemens and a New York hat, plus two wins over the team with the best record in the American League.
The duel between fortysomethings Jamie Moyer and Clemens dissolved into a battle of the bullpens, and that tilted in the Mariners’ favor Sunday.
“One of the best series of the year,” Cameron said. “Playing at Yankee Stadium in August, it’s a different environment than coming in here in April. This is when the good teams start to play better.”
Cameron had ample reason to smile. For the first time, he said, he picked up an autographed jersey from an opposing pitcher. It was Clemens’ No. 22.
“To Mike: All the Best! Rocket,” it was signed.
Mariners pitcher Joel Pineiro got Clemens to sign a ball and Wilson collected a plain Yankees hat. The Mariners got everything they asked for, and more, on a humid afternoon.
After the Yankees tied it against Arthur Rhodes in the bottom half, Olerud took four straight balls from Osuna (2-4) with two outs as a crowd of 54,828 booed.
“Those pitches sounded a lot closer than they were,” Olerud said. “The fans were going, ‘Where was that pitch?”’
“We didn’t do it today,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “Our bullpen is more capable than we showed today.”
Meanwhile, the Mariners’ relievers got the job done. Rafael Soriano (2-0) stopped a rally in the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa closed for his 10th save in 10 chances—retiring Jorge Posada with two on to end it.
Clemens and Moyer attracted all the early attention in the majors’ first matchup of starting pitchers over 40 years old in more than a decade. The last time it happened was when Frank Tanana started for the New York Mets against Charlie Hough of the Florida Marlins on July 29, 1993.
The last such matchup in the AL occurred when Tommy John started for the Yankees against Don Sutton of the California Angels on Aug. 24, 1987, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“There was a lot of grunting and groaning in the bullpen today,” Clemens said.
This game presented a total juxtaposition of winning styles: the soft-tossing, left-handed Moyer vs. the hard-throwing, right-handed Clemens.
Fittingly, after the 41-year-old Clemens fanned Cameron on a 93 mph fastball to end the top of the first, the 40-year-old Moyer struck out Alfonso Soriano on a 76 mph changeup to begin the bottom half.
Moyer was denied his 16th victory, which would have tied for the most in the majors. Clemens fell short in a bid for his 305th win, which would have matched Eddie Plank for 18th place on the career list.
“Age is a number. I’m 40, but most of the time I don’t feel that way,” Moyer said. “If I can still compete, why am I too old? Just because the calendar says I’m 40?”
Clemens took a 4-1 lead into the seventh. What followed was an inning that lasted more than an hour and finished with the score tied at 6.
Clemens left after giving up Wilson’s second double of the game and issuing his first walk, to ninth-place hitter Willie Bloomquist. Orosco gave up an RBI double to Suzuki—it was a high fly to the gap that left fielder Hideki Matsui did not read right away—then Nelson allowed two-run singles to Boone and Winn that made it 6-4.
Right fielder David Dellucci prevented further damage, running face-first into the padded wall to catch Wilson’s drive to end the inning.
Moyer left after six innings, and Posada hit a two-run double off Rhodes that made it 6-all in the seventh.
The Mariners loaded the bases in the eighth on Suzuki’s bunt single, a hit batter and a two-out walk to Edgar Martinez, bringing up Olerud.
Dellucci hit his first home run for the Yankees and Derek Jeter also connected as New York took an early 4-1 lead.
Suzuki stopped the Yankees from scoring more, rushing in from right field to grab Aaron Boone’s blooper on one hop and zipping a throw that forced a hesitant Posada at second base.
Jeter had three hits, including a tying home run in the third. Olerud hit anRBI single in the first.
The game featured four players in their 40s. Orosco and Martinez also have passed the mark. … The game lasted 3 hours, 50 minutes. … Posadareturned to the lineup after missing two games because of a stiff neck.