Tampa Bay relief pitcher Juan Salas was suspended for 50 games yesterday after becoming the first player this year to flunk a drug test under Major League Baseball's testing program.

Salas tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, the commissioner's office said. His suspension will start today.

Salas, a 28-year-old righthander, is 1-1 with a 3.95 earned run average in 15 appearances this season. He will lose about one-third of his $382,000 salary.

The team said in a statement that it supports the drug policy.

Noteworthy

* Comebacking pitcher Roger Clemens, 44, stressed that he is not signing with the Yankees for the rest of the year for the money and that he won't use his age as an excuse.

"If you think it's about money, you're greatly mistaken. I'm not going to put my body through the paces I put my body through to earn a few more dollars," Clemens said at a charity golf tournament.

The Yankees will pay about $26 million in salary and luxury tax in a 1-year deal for the Rocket.

In another matter, reliever Scott Proctor was suspended four games and manager Joe Torre was penalized one game for the team's bench-clearing brawl with the Mariners on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the team sent struggling pitcher Kei Igawa to the minors and said pitcher Carl Pavano will see another doctor to determine whether he needs season-ending elbow surgery.

* Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya is expected to be out for 12 weeks because of a ruptured tendon in his middle right finger. He was hurt warming up Saturday night at Kansas City and will have surgery on Thursday.

* Mariners reliever Julio Mateo, suspended for 10 days for allegedly striking his wife, apologized for his arrest. Police said his wife needed five stitches to her mouth.

* Former major leaguer Ron LeFlore, who played for the Tigers, White Sox and Expos, was arrested while signing autographs in Michigan for failure to pay at least $48,000 in child support.

In games yesterday:

* At New York, Adrian Beltre's tiebreaking homer off Mariano Rivera (1-3) in the ninth inning led Seattle over the Yankees, 3-2.

* At Baltimore, Travis Hafner hit a grand slam and Cleveland Indians routed the Orioles, 10-1. *