SUGAR LAND, Texas -- At 50, Roger Clemens no longer is the power pitcher he was in a 24-year major-league career that included seven Cy Young Awards and 354 wins. And he understands that. But he was more than effective Friday night against the Ducks.
Clemens put on another show before a sellout crowd at Constellation Field, allowing no runs and no walks with one strikeout in 42/3 innings. Singles by Matt Esquivel in the second inning and Ray Navarrete in the fourth were the only hits allowed by Clemens, who was awarded the win in the Skeeters' 4-0 victory despite falling an out short of going five innings.
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"It was a good outing," Clemens said. "I had a great time before a lot of friends. But I'm not ready to pitch in a major-league game. I don't have a great fastball like five years ago, but I can still get guys out."
Clemens' fastball reached 87 mph and he threw 33 strikes in his 54 pitches. His batterymate in the Atlantic League game was his oldest son Koby, 25.
In two games with the Skeeters, Clemens has not allowed a run or walk in eight innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.
Clemens left with the Skeeters ahead 3-0, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of 8,597. Ducks pitcher Randy Keisler (4-2) allowed a three-run double to Josh Pressley in the first inning.
"I could have gone a little further," said Clemens, who had a 1-2-3, 12-pitch inning in the first. "I got better as the game went on. It was a good evening."
With good command of his fastball and slider, Clemens didn't waste many pitches. He overpowered Timo Perez for strike two in Perez's second at-bat.
"He was unbelievable. He understands pitching," said Perez, who went 0-for-2 against Clemens. He had gone 2-for-11 against him in the major leagues, including 0-for-4 in the 2000 World Series.
Clemens struck out Brandon Sing looking to open the second. "He threw me three good cutters," Sing said. "I fouled one off. It happens."