Lawrence threw eight strong innings for his 10th win and Ryan Klesko singled in the go-ahead run with one out in the eighth inning to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Clemens tweaked his right knee in the fifth but stayed in the game, getting his second straight no-decision.
Lawrence was thrilled to have gone against Clemens.
“It’s something growing up and watching this guy, being from Texas myself and knowing where he came from, and doing the things he’s done, it’s almost an honor to be able to go up against a guy like that,” said Lawrence.
“To come out on the winning side, and knowing you battled with one of the best ever, it was awesome.”
Lawrence (10-5) held the Astros to one run and five hits in eight innings, struck out three and walked three. He’s won 10 games for the third straight year. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.
Burroughs hit a leadoff single to right and was sacrificed by Mark Loretta. After an intentional walk to Brian Giles, Klesko hit a grounder right between first baseman Jeff Bagwell and second baseman Jose Vizcaino.
“It’s one of those games it’s nice to be a part of,” Klesko said. “Seeing Clemens go out there and pitch, and we got the win. They both threw good games, and it’s nice to get a hit to go through the hole there and help my team win.”
In winning for the 11th time in 14 games, the Padres leapfrogged San Francisco to take over first place in the NL West by a half game. The Padres haven’t been in first since being in a virtual tie with Los Angeles on June 14.
Clemens was facing San Diego for the first time, and held the Padres to three hits and one run in seven innings. He struck out six and walked four.
Clemens touched his right knee after throwing his final warmup pitch in the fifth inning and manager Jimy Williams and the trainer came out to check on him. He remained in the game.
“It got caught back in the rubber a little bit,” Clemens said. “It was a burning feeling. I was able to work through that inning.”
The Padres’ run in the fourth was enough to leave the Rocket with a no-decision.
After retiring 11 of the first 12 Padres batters, Clemens allowed three straight baserunners with two outs in the fourth to let San Diego tie it. Ryan Klesko walked, advanced on Terrence Long’s sharp single up the middle—the Padres’ first hit—and scored on Jay Payton’s single to center.
“He’s been very consistent all year long,” Williams said. “We haven’t scored him a lot of runs but it doesn’t seem to faze him one bit.”
Craig Biggio homered on Lawrence’s third pitch of the game, extending his NL record for career leadoff homers to 38.
Padres rookie shortstop Khalil Greene had another spectacular game. He made a nice leaping catch of Lance Berkman’s line drive to end the first inning, andcaught Biggio’s liner in the seventh and doubled Adam Everett off second.
In his last four road starts, Clemens has allowed just three earned runs in 27 2-3 innings, going 2-0. … There are only four teams Clemens hasn’t faced in the regular season: Arizona, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and, of course, the Astros. … Petco Park is the 32nd ballpark in which the Rocket has pitched. … With Nevin going on the DL following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Klesko played 1B and batted cleanup, with Terrence Long starting inLF.