Clemens pitches well in Astros’ loss

Clemens pitches well in Astros’ loss
April 16, 2013, 2:30 am
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Bo Porter praises reliever Paul Clemens

Paul Clemens threw out his pitching hand in the sixth inning in an attempt to grab a hard-hit liner.

He got a piece of it. With the pinky finger on his right hand.

Clemens immediately looked toward the Astros’ dugout and held his finger high above his head. It was crooked.

Astros athletic trainer Nathan Lucero ran out to the mound and popped the dislocated finger back in. Clemens said he could have done it himself but thought the team would appreciate it, leaving it up to a professional.

Clemens, of course, stayed in to get another out before Porter took him out of the game before the Astros lost 11-2 to the Athletics on Monday night.

In his second Major League start, Clemens went 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. He didn’t give up a run, struck out three and walked two.

“(He) did a great job and that there is the luxury of having those long guys down there in the bullpen,” Porter said. “So when you get a start like tonight, you have guys down there that can extend the game for you and also save the rest of your guys down in that bullpen.”

More importantly, Clemens saved the bullpen on a night when starter Erik Bedard was able to get just one out.

“Believe me, everybody in this clubhouse really appreciates the job he was able to do tonight,” Porter said. “It was tremendous. Five-plus innings, one-hit ball, zeroes across the board. A great confidence-booster for him and a good confidence-booster for the team as well.”

In two appearances this season, Clemens has pitched 9.1 innings. His first appearance came when the Astros were up big against the Mariners last week. This time was a little bit different.

“It makes me want to come out tonight and pick them up,” Clemens said. “Able to do so, felt good with my pitches. Command is still a little bit spotty, a little bit of adrenaline out there but I think with each coming day, it calms down and everything feels more normal.”

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