NEW YORK — The Yankees and White Sox got into a new kind of pitcher’s duel. Roger Clemens gave up eight runs and left in the second inning. Then Jon Garland did the same.
It took exactly 1 hour to play the second inning Thursday, as New York and Chicago each scored eight runs. It was only the second time in major league history both teams scored eight or more in an inning. The first was only a little more than three years ago, when visiting Detroit scored eight and Texas had 10 in the fifth inning of the Rangers’ 16-15, 10-inning win.
Thursday’s game marked the first time in big league history that two teams combined for 16 runs in a second inning. Several had tallied 14.
Clemens was booed off the mound after he allowed eight runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings. Garland followed him with eight runs and nine hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Only three of the runs off Clemens were earned. Second baseman Robinson Cano mishandled Jerry Owens’ grounder near the bag with one out, and Clemens threw out Darin Erstad at the plate on Alex Cintron’s dribbler, but the next four batters all got hits off Clemens before manager Joe Torre replaced him.
It was the shortest outing for Clemens since June 2000, when he lasted just one inning against Boston. He hadn’t allowed this many runs since a game in August 2003, when all nine runs he gave up were earned.
Making his last start before turning 45, Clemens pitched a perfect first inning before the White Sox got to him with a series of singles and doubles that eluded Yankees fielders. When Torre replaced him with left-hander Mike Myers, the fans at Yankee Stadium booed loudly, but the boos faded to polite applause by the time the Rocket had trudged to the dugout.
The Yankees trailed 8-0 when Clemens left and he looked to be in line for his sixth loss in 11 starts, but his teammates answered immediately with five straight hits off Garland, including Wilson Betemit’s three-run homer and Alex Rodriguez’s RBI single, which snapped a streak of 22 hitless at-bats — the longest of his major league career.
After that, Garland was removed for Boone Logan, who allowed a tying, two-run ground-rule double to Jorge Posada, but got a grounder from Robinson Cano that brought the inning to an end. Finally.