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Yankees Get Across Jason Dickson Line

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Maybe it was the fact the Angels were still in first place. Or possibly it was the success they had earlier this season against the New York Yankees. But optimism was being handed out wholesale Tuesday afternoon.

“One thing I believe, when you play good teams, you pick your game up,” Angel Manager Terry Collins said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Said shortstop Gary DiSarcina: “We usually play these teams pretty good. It will be fun.”

Well, the fun for the Angels left Edison Field about as quickly as some of Jason Dickson’s pitches Tuesday. By the time the Yankees were done with a 9-3 victory, they and their many fans among the 36,241 at Edison Field were the only ones having a good time.

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Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams and Darryl Strawberry each drove in two runs. David Cone went seven strong innings for his major league-leading 15th victory. The Yankee bullpen, tops in the American League in saves, continued to dominate, even if it was only two mop-up innings.

The Angels, meanwhile, scored only one earned run, made a costly baserunning gaffe and committed three errors--all in the sixth inning--that led to three unearned runs.

But the optimism remained. The Angels, who are 8-16 in July, remained in first place, one game ahead of the Texas Rangers. And Garret Anderson’s ninth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest in the major leagues this season.

Still, it was not the best way to open a nine-game home stand that will bring the American League’s big boys--New York, Boston and Cleveland--to town.

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“We were ready to play,” Collins said. “We had David Cone going against us. He can shut you down no matter how fired up and ready you are.”

Cone gave up six hits and struck out six. The only earned run he gave up was Tim Salmon’s solo home run in the second. By then he had a 5-0 lead.

“They have seven No. 1 starters,” first baseman Cecil Fielder said. “Their starters have 53 [victories] and change. When you hit like they do and get that kind of pitching, you’re going to win some games.”

Not that it concerned him.

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“You look at [the Yankees] and then look at us,” Fielder said. “There is no intimidation factor. No one makes you nervous.”

There was a little more to fear than fear itself.

The Yankees have been in a league of their own most of the season. They opened in Anaheim, losing their first two games, but few teams have played better. Actually, only one team has played better. The 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates were 75-25 after 100 games. The Yankees are 74-26.

The Yankees had 14 hits, 11 against Dickson, who gave up three home runs, the most he has given up this season after he allowed 32 last season.

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Jeter hit a home run off Dickson’s first major league pitch in 1996. It was the only run Dickson gave up in a 7-1 victory. Jeter homered against him in the first Tuesday. This time it was only the beginning.

The Yankees scored four in the second, two on a Strawberry home run. Williams had a solo home run in the fifth.

“That’s four runs, they earned those runs,” Dickson said. “I don’t think they earned the other ones.”

DiSarcina, third baseman Dave Hollins and catcher Matt Walbeck made errors in the sixth, letting in three runs. The Yankees hardly needed the help.

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“I thought Jason pitched fine,” Collins said. “If those home runs were the only three mistakes he made, well, the Yankees can hurt you. They have been doing that to everyone, not just us.”

The Angels also hurt themselves.

They were trailing, 1-0, in first, but had two on with one out when Fielder looped a shallow fly to left. Hollins took off from second, but Chad Curtis made a shoestring catch, then threw to Chuck Knoblauch for the double play.


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