The Closer: The Fragile Psyche Of Roger Clemens

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Rocket Booster. Roger Clemens finally got some support, both from his offense and catcher Brad Ausmus, to pitch the Astros to a 5-2 win over the Pirates on Thursday. It was the 345th career win for Clemens, who needed a pep talk from Ausmus during his six-inning stint. "I didn't feel like I had a lot of life," Clemens said, "and then Brad came out and said it's as good as ever." And doggone it, people like me.

2. The Haunted Series. What is this spooky hold that the Royals have over the Red Sox? Curt Schilling, of all people, was abused for 10 extra-base hits as the Royals rallied once again for a 5-4 win. KC had nine doubles and a homer to sweep the three-game series.

3. Blue Skies Again. Kenny Lofton and the Dodgers; pretty impressive lately, you know? Lofton singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as LA assumed first place in the NL West, beating the Rockies 4-3.

4. Oops! Alex Rodriguez's rushed throw for an E in your scorebook helped the White Sox beat the Yankees 5-4, as Chicago took the series 2-1. NY still leads Boston by three games in the AL East. Rodriguez made his 19th error of the season as the White Sox scored four in the second. "It's just frustrating," Rodriguez told the AP. "You can't give those guys extra outs." Mm-kay.

5. Now On Sprockets, It Is Time To Discuss The Indians. Ryan Garko (we have his insurance) hit his first career home run and had four RBI, to lead Cleveland over the Los Angeles/Anaheim/Long Beach Angels 14-2.