Roger Clemens was breezing and then suddenly, he was out of the game, forced to leave after five brilliant innings because of a groin injury. Without the Rocket, the Houston Astros couldn't hold on, crumbling when closer Brad Lidge couldn't find the plate as the Chicago Cubs rallied with four runs in the eighth for a 4-2 victory last night.
''It's more than a mild strain, but I know my body and I didn't tear it," Clemens said. ''I'm OK. It's iced down and numb and we'll start treating it tomorrow."
Clemens had retired 10 straight batters before walking Enrique Wilson with two outs in the fifth. Manager Phil Garner and a trainer then ran to the mound to talk with Clemens, who stayed in the game and got the final out of the inning.
Houston absorbed its seventh straight loss.
Marlins 4, Phillies 3 -- Damion Easley tied the game with a two-out homer in the ninth inning, and Carlos Delgado's RBI double in the 10th gave host Florida a victory. The Marlins extended the majors' longest current winning streak to six games with plenty of help from the Phillies' bullpen, which wasted seven innings of two-hit, shutout work by starter Brett Myers.
Reds 4, Nationals 3 -- Reliever Randy Keisler poked an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 14th to give Cincinnati a win over Washington. Keisler never had a major league hit or RBI until he sent a grounder past shortstop Jamey Carroll with the infield in. Reds manager Dave Miley had to let Keisler bat after running out of position players.
Braves 4, Mets 0 -- Pitching on three days' rest for the first time in a regular-season game, Tim Hudson threw eight shutout innings to lift Atlanta past its former teammate Tom Glavine and visiting New York.
Brewers 6, Rockies 1 -- Carlos Lee homered and drove in four runs for host Milwaukee and Victor Santos ended a four-game losing streak.
Cardinals 2, Pirates 1 -- Yadier Molina hit a winning single in the 12th inning off Jose Mesa, and St. Louis won its 11th straight against visiting Pittsburgh.
Giants 5, Dodgers 3 -- Jason Schmidt pitched five effective innings and hit a home run for host San Francisco in his return from the disabled list.
Padres 9, Diamondbacks 5 -- Phil Nevin drove in two runs with a homer and single, Ramon Hernandez had a two-run double, and San Diego scored five runs in the last two innings to beat host Arizona.