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Mussina loses first after 7-0 start; Jeter 1-for-4

5/14/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- When Derek Jeter arrived to play his first game
of the year at Yankee Stadium, the marquee read "World Champion
Angels."

"I looked twice and it looked funny," he said.

In case Jeter forgot the beating Anaheim gave the New York Yankees last October, the Angels reminded him of it in his return
from the disabled list.

Scott Spiezio hit a grand slam and a solo homer, sending Mike Mussina to his first loss of the season in the Angels' 10-3 win
Tuesday night.

"We did a lot of good things tonight," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said. "We worked some tough at-bats starting with the
first at-bat of the game. We can pressure clubs and get into our
game. We did that tonight."

Garret Anderson added a two-run homer and David Eckstein went
4-for-5 for the Angels, who upset the Yankees in the first round of
last year's playoffs.

John Lackey (2-3) allowed two runs in six innings for Anaheim,
which hadn't played at Yankee Stadium since rallying to win Game 2
of the playoffs. The Angels won the next two games to take the
series and went on to win the first World Series championship in
franchise history.

"We seem to bring out the best in that ballclub," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "They beat our brains out. That's
basically what it comes down to."

Jeter went 1-for-4 in his first game after missing six weeks
with a dislocated left shoulder. Jeter, who hurt himself on a
headfirst slide on opening night in Toronto, didn't need to make
any plays to test his shoulder in his return.

"I feel fine," he said. "I got good pitches to hit. I just
got under them. The first at-bat I was a little nervous. I got out
in front and popped the ball up."

New York went 25-11 during Jeter's absence, winning two of three
games in Anaheim. The Yankees have lost three of their last four
overall.

Anaheim set a postseason record last year by hitting .376 in the
division series against the Yankees and scored 31 runs in the four
games.

The Angels did in the Yankees again.

Spiezio snapped a 25 at-bat hitless streak in the fourth inning
against Mussina (7-1) with a drive off the facing of the upper deck
in right field. He added the slam in the ninth off Juan Acevedo
following an intentional walk to Brad Fullmer.

"I don't blame them. I haven't been hitting the ball well,"
said Spiezio, who had his sixth career multihomer game. "After a
month I finally got a hit. They probably thought it was a fluke."

Mussina, bidding to become the first AL pitcher since Dave
Stewart in 1988 to win his first eight starts of the year, didn't
look comfortable from the start.

He gave up hits to four of the first 10 batters but held the
Angels scoreless until Anderson's two-run homer with two outs in
the third. It was the first homer allowed by Mussina since his
first start of the year, when he allowed one to Toronto's Carlos Delgado.

"It was a struggle tonight," Mussina said. "I didn't have
what I wanted to take out there. They're good at fouling off the
borderline stuff and getting a pitch they can handle.'

The Angels added an unearned run in the fifth when second
baseman Alfonso Soriano couldn't handle Anderson's sinking liner,
allowing Adam Kennedy to score from second.

Mussina, who had won nine straight regular season starts dating
to last season, allowed four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in
five innings.

He failed in his attempt to win his first eight starts of the
season. Pedro Martinez was the last pitcher to do it in 1997 for
Montreal and no Yankee had done it since Eddie Lopat in 1951.

Lackey has struggled since becoming the first rookie to win Game
7 of the World Series in 93 years. He came into the game with a
7.38 ERA and was winless in his last five starts.

He had allowed 11 first-inning runs in his first eight starts
and looked like he would add to that total when he began the game
with five straight balls.

With Soriano on second after a steal, Lackey retired the next 12
batters, including Jeter on a foul pop in his first at-bat.

"I did a few things different tonight," Lackey said. "I
didn't throw any curveballs. I got back to what I do best -- the
four-seam fastball and slider. I got back to basics."

Hideki Matsui opened the fifth with a clean single to center and
scored on Robin Ventura's one-out homer, snapping a 14-inning
scoreless streak at home for New York.

The Angels added two runs in the seventh against Sterling Hitchcock on RBI singles by Tim Salmon and Brad Fullmer.

Anaheim reliever Brandon Donnelly had his 20-inning scoreless
streak snapped in the eighth. Raul Mondesi scored an unearned after
Jeter's single to right when Salmon's throw home was wild for an
error.

Game notes
Lackey has allowed 11 homers in 48 2/3 innings this year --
one more than all of last season. ... The Yankees have scored only
63 runs in 16 home games, compared to 167 in 22 on the road. ...
Yankees DH Jason Giambi returned to the lineup after missing two
games with blurry vision because of staph infections in both of his
eyes. ... Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer returned to the team for
the first time since May 1, the day before he was hospitalized with
a gastrointestinal problem.