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Yankees Get Message After 10-2 Angel Win

Baseball: New York gets outpitched, outhit and outplayed in two-game sweep at Edison Field.

April 03, 1998|MIKE DiGIOVANNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Manager Terry Collins didn't think his Angels had "made any kind of statement" with a two-game sweep of New York, which concluded with Thursday night's 10-2 thrashing of the Yankees before 29,899 at Edison Field.

Over in the visitors' clubhouse, though, where the powerful Yankees were wondering how they could be thoroughly outpitched, outhit and outplayed for two consecutive nights, a message seemed to be received.

"They're a very aggressive team, Terry's always been aggressive," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said. "They have a good lineup, and they got two well- pitched games here.

"What it's going to come down to is pitching, and if these two games are any indication, then you have to take the Angels very seriously."

The Yankees, heavy favorites to win the American League East, managed only four hits off Chuck Finley in Wednesday night's opener, a 4-1 loss. Thursday it was Angel right-hander Ken Hill who stymied the Yankees, limiting them to five hits in six shutout innings.

Hill and Angel third baseman Dave Hollins both joined the century club, Hill securing his 100th career victory and Hollins clubbing his 100th career home run in the fourth inning.

Catcher Phil Nevin, making his Angel debut, added a two-run double in the fourth and an RBI groundout in the eighth, Darin Erstad knocked in two runs, and Jim Edmonds capped a five-run eighth with a two-run homer.

Left fielder Garret Anderson also saved a run and maybe more with a nice, inning-ending sliding catch of Darryl Strawberry's pop down the line in the sixth, preserving a 3-0 lead.

"Ken was great--pitching is always the No. 1 thing," Collins said. "But you also have to put that alongside a great play by Garret in left field. They had a chance to get back into the game, but instead of giving up two runs, it's still 3-0."

The Yankees have one of baseball's most potent lineups, but they mustered only three runs and 12 hits in two games against the Angels. Mike Holtz, who threw a scoreless relief inning Wednesday night, added 1 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday, inducing the always-dangerous Paul O'Neill to pop out to end the seventh with a runner on third and the Angels leading, 3-1.

"When you pitch, the game looks easy," Collins said. "If you don't pitch, the games get ugly and you're trying to outslug each other. Our pitchers looked great, and that changes the way the game is played."

Collins' catchers don't look too shabby, either. Matt Walbeck had a key two-run triple and threw out two runners Wednesday night, and Nevin, a converted third baseman playing only his sixth big league game behind the plate, handled Hill well Thursday night and added two clutch hits.

After Hollins opened the third inning with a homer off Yankee starter David Wells, Tim Salmon singled, Cecil Fielder walked, and both runners advanced on Anderson's groundout.

With first base open, Wells had the option of pitching around Nevin, who had two home runs against the Yankee left-hander in five career at-bats entering the game.

But Wells chose to go after Nevin, who made the Yankees pay by smashing a two-run double into the gap in left-center for a 3-0 lead. Martin struck out to end the inning.

The Yankees cut it to 3-1 on Derek Jeter's sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, but the Angels answered with two in the bottom of the seventh on Erstad's RBI double and Edmonds' RBI single off reliever Jeff Nelson. The Angels then blew the game open in the eighth.

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