There are ways of treating the pain in the left side of Stewart Cliburn's rib cage. The ache in John Candelaria's heart is something else. It is a constant hurt that is now clouding his joy at being out of Pittsburgh and back in a pennant race.
Candy talked about it after reestablishing his status in the Angels' rotation by pitching 5 shutout innings of a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees Friday night.
The Angels' first win in four games at Yankee Stadium this year stretched their lead over Kansas City in the American League West to 2 1/2 games, but it carried a price.
Cliburn, whose rookie statistics include an 8-2 record, five saves and a 1.80 earned-run average, threw one pitch after replacing Candelaria in the sixth inning and pulled a muscle on the left side of his rib cage. He said later that he didn't think it was serious, but he may miss the last eight games of the trip.
Donnie Moore, forced into an emergency stint of 3 innings, faced a series of threats, but emerged with his 24th save, one shy of the club record.
Milestone hits by Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson combined with home runs by Jack Howell and Ruppert Jones helped provide an early lead for Candelaria, who had lasted only 1 innings in each of his previous two starts, allowing 13 hits and 11 earned runs.
He gave up only two hits in this one, striking out five while still plagued by uncharacteristic control problems. He walked four and made 90 pitches, leaving because he is still rebuilding his stamina after pitching strictly in relief for the Pirates this season and because of an irritation in his elbow.
Is he concerned about that?
"No," he said. "Not tonight, anyway. I'll know more about it in a day or two."
His greater concern is the condition of his two-year-old son, John Jr., who fell into the family swimming pool last Christmas Day and has been in a coma ever since.
The trade has put Candelaria on the road for six weeks, compounding the pressure of attempting to prove himself to new teammates amid the tension of a pennant race.
"It's good to hear the music and laughter instead of walking into the clubhouse with your head down," he said, alluding to how it is with the Angels in contrast to how it was with the Pirates, "but I haven't been home in a month and a half. That's added pressure. I miss seeing my boy. It hurts."
To what extent it has affected the mechanical problems Candelaria developed after joining the Angels is difficult to say. It's a factor, one of several weighing on the pressing Candy Man.
"I'm still wild. I'm still not happy about the way I'm pitching," he said in the wake of his third win in four decisions. "I've looked at the films and seen I still have changes to make.
"I mean, it wasn't me out there the last two times. They hit the hell out of me. I'm human, it's going to happen, but it hurts when the team is in the pennant race and you're looking for the acceptance of your teammates."
Candelaria may be expecting too much.
Manager Gene Mauch said he was superb in this one, coming right back against a team that had nailed him in his last start, a team that had won eight straight at home, where it was 41-15.
"He threw a hell of a lot more strikes and a hell of a lot more low strikes," Mauch said of Candelaria. "I'm satisfied that he's building up the endurance that he and we are going to need. By the last three weeks of the season, he'll be ready to finish what he starts."
Mauch had hoped that Cliburn and Moore would combine to finish it for Candelaria.
"I felt like somebody had spiked my Achilles' tendon when Cliburn got hurt," he said. "Why the hell would I want Donnie Moore out there for 11 outs? I thought we'd run the table by getting five from Cliburn and six from Moore."
Said Cliburn: "I had this same problem earlier this year on my right side and missed five or six days. I don't think I could have thrown another pitch, it's that painful, but I don't think it's serious. I think I'll be fine in a few days."
Moore yielded a run in the seventh, but it could have been worse. The Yankees had the run in with two on and nobody out, but Moore worked through Ken Griffey, Ricky Henderson and Don Mattingly without further damage. He also survived a double by Don Baylor in the eighth and a leadoff walk in the ninth.
The Angels had built their lead at the expense of Marty Bystrom, now 3-2:
--A pair of walks and a bunt single by Carew led to a run in the first. Carew added two more singles to emerge with 3,024 career hits. He is 13th on the all-time list, a hit ahead of Lou Brock.
--Jackson drove in the first-inning run with an infield ground-out, then scored Carew with a fifth-inning double, the 1,000th extra-base hit of his career.
--Howell slugged his fifth homer in the fourth and singled twice, the first three-hit game of his brief tenure with the Angels.
--Jones hit his 19th homer in the fifth, his first since Aug. 3.
It was all a sweet complement to Candy's comeback.
Bob Starr, who does play-by-play on Angel telecasts and Ram radio broadcasts, was resting comfortably at New Rochelle Hospital Friday night after experiencing chest pains while playing golf Friday morning. Starr, 51, will be hospitalized for an indefinite period while undergoing tests, a hospital spokesman said. . . . Angel players met with Don Fehr, executive director of the Major League Players Assn., and then voted, 22-3, to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement with the owners. . . . Gary Pettis, with a stolen base in each of the first two games of the series, has 41 for the season to become the first Angel ever to steal 40 or more in two seasons. . . . Rookie indoctrination: Jack Howell had his pocket picked of about $200 while he stopped to watch a shell game on a Manhattan street corner. . . . Ron Romanick (13-6) faces Ed Whitson (8-7) in a game to be televised by Channel 4 at 10:20 a.m. PDT today.