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A mixed bag for Clemens

Outing is strong, but vehicle stolen

Roger Clemens tested his strained right hamstring in a simulated game in Kissimmee, Fla., and impressed his Houston teammates.

Clemens threw 90 pitches before the Astros' game against the Phillies. He didn't speak with the media after his first outing since injuring his hamstring Friday against Detroit, but catcher Brad Ausmus said Clemens looked ready for game action.

"I think he actually could have pitched [against Philadelphia] today," Ausmus said.

Outfielder Lance Berkman, who is recovering from knee surgery, faced Clemens. "His stuff looks really good," said Berkman.

Things didn't go as smoothly for Clemens back in Houston, where his orange Hummer was stolen after the pitcher's son drove it to school and left it unlocked, police said. The Hummer -- a present from the Yankees for his 300th career win -- was taken from Memorial High School at about 8:30 a.m.

Police found the vehicle unharmed in a Houston parking lot yesterday afternoon after officers received a tip. No arrests had been made. Clemens had offered a $10,000 reward for the vehicle's safe return. It wasn't immediately clear if the tipster would receive the reward.

Gagne bounces back
Eric Gagne looked more comfortable in his second outing of the spring, giving up one hit and striking out two in one scoreless inning of the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Devil Rays in Vero Beach, Fla. On Monday, Gagne showed obvious discomfort in his left knee, which he sprained Feb. 24. The 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner did not limp or hop at the end of his delivery in his second outing. Gagne said he scaled back his effort to about 75 percent and did not push off his back foot as much as he did Monday. "I'm trying to find my comfort zone where I can land and not have the knee bite," he said . . . Carlos Lee had an inkling his former team would test his arm and maybe throw at him, and he was right. Both happened in the Brewers' 17-9 loss to the White Sox in Phoenix. Lee, who hit a three-run homer off Chicago's Josh Fields in the third, threw out the man he was traded for last winter, Scott Podsednik, who led off the game with a triple and tried to score on a shallow fly ball by Willie Harris. Lee said he knew he'd get some brushbacks like the one from lefthander Damaso Marte that plunked him on the hip in the eighth. Lee tried to go after Marte and was restrained by Chicago catcher Chris Widger as both benches emptied. No punches were thrown . . . A slight groin strain forced righthander Ramon Ortiz out of Cincinnati's 9-4 victory over the Yankees in Sarasota, Fla., a potential setback for the Reds' rotation. Ortiz felt discomfort on his first pitch to Alex Rodriguez in the fifth, and Ortiz left the game after simulating one throw . . . Second baseman Ray Durham gave the Giants a scare when he mildly strained his right groin on a check swing before his third-inning single in a 7-5 win over the Rockies in Scottsdale, Ariz. Durham said he would miss a couple of days . . . Righthander Albie Lopez pulled himself out of the running for a spot on the Pirates' pitching staff by leaving camp and was subsequently released. Lopez allowed one run and six hits in seven innings in three exhibition games, but hadn't pitched since March 11 because of a right calf injury. Lopez, the Devil Rays' Opening Day starter in 2001, hasn't pitched in the majors since being released by Kansas City in June 2003.

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