Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 4/22)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 22
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Game 2: Wednesday, April 23
NY Yankees9Final
Game 3: Thursday, April 24
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Yankees 8

(17-3, 10-1 away)

Angels 3

(9-11, 6-4 home)

    10:05 PM ET, April 22, 2003

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

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    NYY 103400000 8 9 0
    ANA 020100000 3 10 1

    W: J. Weaver (2-0)

    L: J. Lackey (1-2)

    Yankees' rotation improves to 15-0 with latest win

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Six months later, the New York Yankees took a big lead against Anaheim and held on.

    Jeff Weaver

    On the 100th anniversary of New York's first game, the Yankees defeated the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs, beating the World Series champion Anaheim Angels 8-3 Tuesday night behind Jeff Weaver.

    When they got to Edison Field, the Yankees got their first look at the Angels' championship flag flying beyond the fence in left center, and manager Joe Torre said, "It's not just another series. We're playing the world champs. These guys manhandled us.'' The Yankees did the manhandling in this year's first meeting.

    Jorge Posada hit his sixth homer, and New York's rotation improved to 15-0, the best beginning for starting pitchers ever by a major league team. Weaver (2-0) gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.

    "They're a tough club, deep in some very important areas. It's no fluke with their record,'' Anaheim manager Mike Sciosica said.

    The Yankees' extended their franchise-best start to 17-3.

    "It is amazing, it really is,'' Torre said. "We're good, we're confident and pitching has been the reason that we've been so consistent. We just hope we can ride this thing as long as we can.''

    After winning four straight AL pennants, and World Series titles from 1998 to 2000, the Yankees were eliminated 3-1 by Anaheim in the best-of-5 first round. New York led at some point in every game of the series, including 6-1 in Game 3, which the Angels won 9-6.

    While Torre thought this three-game set in Anaheim was special, the Yankees' Bernie Williams regarded it as just another tough series.

    "We just look at this as another series against a very good opponent,'' said Williams, who had two hits and drove in two runs. "Obviously, they proved that they were the best team last year by winning the World Series.

    "But last year is over, and we have a different challenge this year.''

    John Lackey (1-2), who went on to beat San Francisco in Game 7 of the World Series, gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and five hits in three-plus innings.

    "It's pretty embarrassing,'' said Lackey, whose ERA rose to 8.51. "Right now I'm going out and letting the team down.'' Posada hit a two-run homer, and Jason Giambi had two hits and two RBI.

    Antonio Osuna, who relieved Weaver, left with one out in the eighth after cramping in his groin while making a pitch.

    "It looked like he had a spasm and I'm a little concerned about it,'' Torre said. "We'll know more tomorrow.''

    The Angels had a runner on in every inning against Weaver, but stranded nine in the game.

    "We were a couple of swings away from getting back in the game,'' Scioscia said.

    Yankees starters have won 19 consecutive regular-season decisions dating to last year, breaking the previous AL record of 18 set by the 1906 Chicago White Sox. The major league record since 1900 is 23, set by the 1916 New York Giants.

    The Yankees' first game -- on April 22, 1903 -- was a 3-1 loss to the Senators in Washington. New York was named the Highlanders then, and the club was renamed Yankees in 1913 when they moved from Hilltop Park to the Polo Grounds. Since that first game, the franchise has won 38 AL pennants and 26 World Series titles.

    "My first year or so, I was a little in awe because I never wore the pinstripes and I could never tell the stories. But after what we've done here over the last few years, I feel like I'm part of it now and it's pretty special,'' said Torre, who has guided the Yankees to four World Series titles in seven years.

    The Yankees have played 15,484 regular-season games, going 8,794-6,690.

    Anaheim lost 14 of its first 20 games last year, the worst start in franchise history, and rebounded to finish with a club-record 99 wins. The Angels, who won the World Series for the first time, are 9-11.

    Game notes

    New York SS Derek Jeter could start swinging a bat in the next couple of days as he works his way back from a dislocated left shoulder. Jeter is expected to be out at least another three weeks. ... Anaheim RHP Kevin Appier went on the 15-day DL with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm, and 2B Adam Kennedy was activated after being sidelined by a strained right hamstring. The Angels also recalled OF Jeff DaVanon from Salt Lake and optioned INF Chone Figgins to the Triple-A team. ... Yankees RHP Steve Karsay, who has bursitis in his shoulder, was given two cortisone shots and told to rest for five days before throwing again. ... New York RHP Jose Contreras, who has a 10.80 ERA in five appearances for the Yankees, worked out Tuesday at the New York Yankees' minor league complex. He is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Columbus twice next week. ... Angels RHP Aaron Sele, coming back from shoulder surgery, made his fourth rehab start, giving up one run on four hits in four innings of Triple-A Salt Lake's 1-0 loss at Fresno. ... Anaheim CF Darin Erstad missed his second consecutive game because of an inflamed tendon in his lower right hamstring.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press