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Clemens Returns to Mound, Retires 10 of 11 in Minor League Debut

Roger Clemens returned to professional baseball tonight, retiring 10 of 11 Bridgeport Bluefish batters in 3 1/3 innings for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

Clemens, 50, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who last pitched for the New York Yankees in 2007, threw 24 of his 37 pitches for strikes and hit 88 miles an hour with his fastball.

An 11-time All-Star, Clemens started the game by striking out former major leaguers Joey Gathright and Prentice Redman in the first inning.

He gave up a two-out single to James Simmons in the top of the second, and retired the side in the third. After Luis Figueroa flied out to left field in the fourth, Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti, a former major league player himself, pulled Clemens from the game.

Clemens in June was acquitted of charges he lied to Congress in denying use of performance-enhancing drugs. A federal jury of eight women and four men in Washington acquitted Clemens of all six counts he faced.

The player has denied using steroids and human-growth hormone since a 2007 report by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell accused him of using the drugs in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

Clemens hasn’t committed to playing more than one game with the Skeeters.

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