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On this date in 2000: Pedro Martinez vs. Roger Clemens

BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the pitcher’s duel lived up to the hype. A day before Memorial Day, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were tied for first in the AL East at 27-18. On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at Yankee Stadium, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez locked horns.

It was an old school, prime time showdown. A rematch of Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS, unlike that matchup, this one lived up to its billing. In front of 55,339, the two aces matched goose eggs through eight frames.

Headed into the ninth inning, Clemens had struck out 13, yielded three hits, and zero walks. Yet, after a two-out single by Jeff Frye, Trot Nixon slugged a home run to right to make it 2-0. Clemens would retire Brian Daubach to end the inning but the damage was done.

During the home half, the Yankees would rally against Martinez. Chuck Knoblauch was hit by a pitch. The ensuing batter Derek Jeter singled to right. Following a Paul O’Neill strikeout and a Bernie Williams flyout that advanced Knoblauch to third base, Jorge Posada reached on a hit by pitch. Yet, Tino Martinez would ground out to end it and Martinez recorded the shutout, fanning nine, allowing four hits and one walk.

On the season, the two would finish 1-2 in ERA, with Martinez at 1.74 and Clemens at 3.70.

The two would meet in more important tilts in the years ahead, most notably Game 3 and Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.