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Red-hot Yankees face Angels in rematch of 2002 ALDS

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - A rematch of the 2002 American League Division Series takes center stage this evening, as the defending World Champion Anaheim Angels host the New York Yankees at Edison Field.

Anaheim won the best-of-five ALDS, 3-1, over the Yankees last season. The Yankees actually took the 2002 regular season series, winning four of seven meetings. Over the last two years, these squads have split 14 meetings with Anaheim owning a 4-3 advantage at Edison Field.

The Yankees are off to their best ever start, including their current five- game winning streak. New York is fresh off a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome, including a 15-1 victory on Monday afternoon.

Nick Johnson slammed two homers and Alfonso Soriano hit a grand slam in the winning effort for the Yankees. Johnson, who had the first multi-homer game of his career, was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBI. Raul Mondesi ended 3-for-4 for the Yankees, who outhit the Twins 14-7.

David Wells (3-0) pitched a complete game to earn the victory for the Yankees, who have defeated the Twins 13 straight times. He surrendered one run on seven hits, struck out three and walked one.

New York starting pitchers have won 18 straight decisions, tying the record set by the 1906 White Sox. The Yankees' starters are 14-0 this season, the best start by any staff in the modern era and the longest winning streak to begin a major league season since 1900.

The Yankees will hope that Jeff Weaver can continue their roll this evening. Weaver is unbeaten (1-0) in three starts, including a victory over Toronto last week. The 26-year-old limited the Blue Jays to only three hits over 7 2/3 innings, while fanning six and walking three in the victory.

Weaver has had his problems against the Angels in his career, going just 2-4 with a 2.63 ERA. He has surrendered 39 hits and 14 earned runs over 48 innings of work versus Anaheim.

Anaheim will reply with 24-year-old righthander John Lackey on the hill. Lackey has split a pair of decisions this season, but didn't figure into the outcome last week against Texas. The twirler was tagged for nine hits and six runs over 6 1/3 innings, while fanning five and walking three in the no- decision.

Lackey lost his only career decision against the Yankees, while amassing a 4.50 ERA. The hurler has allowed 11 hits and four runs over eight innings of work versus New York.

Anaheim centerfielder Darin Erstad missed the game with a hamstring injury. Erstad is listed as questionable for this evening's game.

The Angels have lost three of four and five of their last seven to slip under .500 for the season. Anaheim dropped two of three to the Seattle Mariners over the weekend at home.

The Angels lost a 7-6 decision to the Mariners on Sunday. Garret Anderson had three hits, including a two-run homer, while Shawn Wooten also drove in two runs for the Angels.

Troy Percival (0-1) took the setback after allowing two runs on two hits in one inning. Jarrod Washburn allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Washburn struck out two and walked three batters.

Anaheim is 6-3 at home this season, while the Yankees are 9-1 on the road. New York is in the midst of a 10-game road trip.

04/22 13:05:23 ET

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