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Clemens strutting off the mound after the eighth.( REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)The Yankees began their inevitable post-vacation winning streak tonight in style. Roger Clemens dominated his way to his 350th career win, Bobby Abreu hit one of the longest home runs you’ll ever see in Yankee stadium, and the Yanks came through with a few clutch hits late in the game to finish off the Twins 5–1.

The story of the game was Clemens. In the top of the eighth Clemens reached back for a put-away fastball, it hit 92 MPH, his fastest of the game. He was bound and determined to put an end to the shoddy baseball the Yanks have been playing, and he kept his offense in it until they finally solved Boof Bonser and the Twins’ pen in the bottom of the sixth.

When the Yanks opened up their coffers to Clemens over a month ago, this is what they were buying. His line: 8 IP, 1 earned, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 Ks. When he was lifted for Mo, he had retired 15 straight batters, and made it look easy against a tough lineup.

The only downer from tonight’s game was an injury to Alex Rodriguez’s hamstring which forced him out of the game in the deciding bottom of the sixth. A-Rod collided with Justin Morneau on a failed double play attempt. He remained in the game momentarily, but was removed for a pinch-runner when Larry Bowa saw something he didn’t like. Word came down later on during the game that A-Rod has a strained hamstring, which sparked an interesting discussion between Michael Kay and Paul O’Neill about the impossibility of “spraining” your hamstring.

A-Rod has been an iron man throughout his stay in New York, and really only missed significant time once in his career. It goes without saying that an extended absence from the lineup for A-Rod would be disastrous. Cross your fingers tonight, Yankee fans.

Bobby Abreu would’ve been a lock for player of the game honors, had Skidmark not pitched his guts out for the win.

Player of the Game: Roger Clemens.

by Brian on Jul 3 2007