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Clemens, Yanks shut out Red Sox

It has been three months since Roger Clemens lost, and he keeps getting stronger.

Clemens pitched five-hit ball for eight innings, and David Justice and Derek Jeter drove in two runs each as the New York Yankees increased their AL East lead over Boston to seven games with a 4-0 win over the Red Sox on Friday night.

"I'm throwing the way I want to and the way I know I can," Clemens said. "I'm healthy and I've got my legs back under me."

The game wound down on a scary note when Boston pitcher Bryce Florie was hit by a liner off the bat of Ryan Thompson in the ninth. The ball appeared to hit Florie below the right eye, and he was taken off the field on a cart with blood streaming.

Team spokesman Kevin Shea said a report on Florie wasn't expected before today.

"I've never seen that, something like that, up close," said Lou Merloni, who picked up the ball and threw out Thompson at first. "To hear the sound I heard from third base, it wasn't a good feeling."

Clemens is 8-0 since spending 16 days on the disabled list with a strained groin. In his past three games, he has allowed one run and 13 hits in 23 innings.

"The last six starts, we've seen the fire in his eyes," New York manager Joe Torre said of the former Red Sox ace. "It was apparent he was very determined when he came to the park today."

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth. Clemens has left six games with leads that his bullpen wasted.

Boston starter Tomo Ohka allowed two runs on five hits in 6 innings as Boston remained two games behind Cleveland in the wild-card race.

With one out in the fourth, Jeter was hit by a pitch and took second when Jose Offerman booted Paul O'Neill's grounder to second for an error. Jeter advanced on Tino Martinez's flyout and scored on Justice's single.

Ohka, who benefited from three double plays in the first five innings, weakened in the seventh when Justice led off with his 37th homer and 16th with the Yankees.

Up next:DAILY REPORT

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