Roger Clemens finally got some run support and won for the first time in his latest comeback.
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner allowed two runs and four hits and struck out five in five innings last night, leading the Astros to a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in Houston.
The 43-year-old earned his 342d career victory, his first since beating the Cubs, 3-1, in the second-to-last game of the 2005 regular season.
Lance Berkman homered twice and Preston Wilson had an RBI double as the Astros scored more than three runs for just the 13th time in Clemens's 35 starts since the beginning of last season.
Clemens (1-2) was hardly perfect -- he walked three, threw a wild pitch, and gave up a home run to Jacque Jones -- but he still allowed two runs or fewer for the 19th time in his last 23 starts.
Craig Biggio drove the first pitch from Cubs rookie Carlos Marmol into the seats in left in the first to give Clemens a quick lead. It was Biggio's 48th leadoff homer, which trails only Rickey Henderson (80) on the all-time list.
Indians 5, Yankees 2 -- Rookie Jeremy Sowers wasn't shaken by New York's aura or powerful lineup and picked up his first career victory, pitching seven strong innings to lead host Cleveland.
Sowers (1-1), making his second major league start in front of the largest regular-season crowd at Jacobs Field in nearly six years (42,706), allowed a two-run homer to Jason Giambi in the first inning. However, the 23-year-old lefthander shut down New York over the next six innings, retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
Todd Hollandsworth hit a two-run homer off Chien-Ming Wang (8-4) and Victor Martinez had two RBIs for the Indians, who have won three straight games for the first time since June 1.
Dodgers 10, Diamondbacks 4 -- Nomar Garciaparra tied a major league record when he was hit three times and rookie Andre Ethier went 4 for 5 with two RBIs to power host Los Angeles past Arizona.
The first baseman was hit three times by three different pitchers. The third pitcher who plunked him was Randy Choate, who was ejected by home plate umpire Ted Barrett in the seventh inning.
Garciaparra, who drove in two runs, was hit in the back by Juan Cruz in the first, then took a glancing blow off the front of his helmet on a pitch by Edgar Gonzalez in the fourth and was struck on the foot by Randy Choate.
Twins 6, Royals 5 -- Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau homered and visiting Minnesota rallied for its 11th straight victory.
The Twins trailed, 5-3, going into the eighth inning and scored three runs on one hit, three walks, a hit batter, a throwing error by catcher John Buck and two wild pitches by Ambiorix Burgos.
Giants 9, Rockies 6 -- Randy Winn drove in the go-ahead run with a broken-bat double, and visiting San Francisco rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to give manager Felipe Alou his 1,000th win.
The Giants leapfrogged Colorado into second place in the NL West, a half-game behind San Diego, which was idle.
Rangers 6, Blue Jays 1 -- Rookie John Rheinecker pitched seven strong innings and Mark DeRosa had three hits and three RBIs to lead host Texas over Toronto.
Ted Lilly (8-8) nearly matched Rheinecker, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings.
Orioles 8, White Sox 1 -- Erik Bedard allowed two hits in eight strong innings, lifting visiting Baltimore past Chicago.
Miguel Tejada and Corey Patterson, in his return to Chicago after being traded from the Cubs in the offseason, homered in the seventh off reliever Brandon McCarthy to complete Baltimore's decisive victory.
Angels 7, Mariners 1 -- Jered Weaver continued his impressive rookie season, limiting host Seattle to one run in seven innings, and Kendry Morales hit a two-run homer to boost Los Angeles.
Weaver improved to 5-0 by outpitching fellow young standout Felix Hernandez. Between Triple-A Salt Lake and the Angels, Weaver is 11-1 this season, his only loss coming April 13 against Las Vegas. Weaver scattered five hits and struck out nine.
Pirates 11, Mets 1 -- All-Star Jason Bay drove in three runs and Paul Maholm held slumping New York in check for six innings, leading host Pittsburgh.
Athletics 5, Tigers 3 -- Jay Payton hit his 100th career homer, a three-run shot in the sixth, and Joe Blanton pitched seven strong innings to help host Oakland end a three-game losing streak.
Braves 6, Cardinals 3 -- John Smoltz (5-5) won for the first time in eight starts, and host Atlanta hit four home runs in beating St. Louis.
Brewers 8, Reds 7 -- Carlos Lee singled home the winning run in the ninth, and host Milwaukee pulled off the final rally of a seesaw game to beat Cincinnati.
Nationals 9, Marlins 1 -- Alfonso Soriano homered twice and drove in four runs, and Pedro Astacio won his Washington debut in a victory over visiting Florida.