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Dickson Lifts Angels To Victory

Jason Dickson's strong relief outing Sunday probably earned him Jason Dickson's strong relief outing Sunday probably earned him another chance in the Anaheim Angels' starting rotation.

Dickson, an All-Star starter last season, allowed two hits in 4 1-3 innings of relief of starter Jack McDowell before Gary DiSarcina's sacrifice fly in the ninth lifted the Angels to a 6-5 win against the Minnesota Twins.

Dickson (4-4), a 13-game winner in 1997, is now 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in five relief appearances since being demoted from the rotation on May 5. Dickson was 2-4 with an 8.90 ERA in six starts this season.

"He was hurt in spring training with tendinitis and I don't think he got himself quite ready," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "Now, he's starting to get a feel for his release point and getting a feel for his pitches and he's pitching much better."

Collins said that Dickson will likely take McDowell's spot in the rotation after the right-hander struggled in his second start since coming off the disabled list.

McDowell, still trying to recover from the effects of an inflamed right elbow joint, lasted just 3 2-3 innings in his second start since coming off the DL on May 21.

McDowell gave up 10 hits and five earned runs. He missed his last scheduled start with a sore right elbow.

Dickson, who hasn't been reinserted into the starting rotation yet, didn't want to talk about, preferring instead to focus on his recent success in the bullpen.

"My long-term goal is that I still want to be a starter," Dickson said. "I'm not going to go down to the bullpen and complain about what I have to do. I'll take every opportunity and make the best of it."

That was exactly the case Sunday as Dickson retired 12 of the 14 batters he faced.

"I couldn't take the attitude that if I gave up one more run that's why we would lose," Dickson said. "We were down and we had to avoid any more big innings, have quick innings and get the guys back into it."

Twins starter Mike Morgan lasted five innings, giving up six hits and three runs. Morgan held a 5-0 lead until two were out in the fifth inning when Darin Erstad hit a solo home run and Jim Edmonds added a two-run shot to cut the Twins' lead to 5-3.

Walbeck tied the game 5-5 in the sixth inning on a two-run home run to right field off reliever Mike Trombley. It was Walbeck's third of the season.

"It happened very quickly," Twins manager Tom Kelly said. "They turned the momentum around and we did nothing in the second half of the game."

Justin Baughman tripled off Greg Swindell (0-2) leading off the ninth and DiSarcina followed with his sacrifice fly to right field. Swindell gave up two hits and one run in 2 1-3 innings.

Troy Percivl pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances.

"We've been pitching well but sometimes it just doesn't happen," Minnesota's Otis Nixon said. "Dickson held us down and gave them a chance. He was a big part of them winning."

The Twins got to McDowell early when Nixon led off with a triple to right-center field and scored on a ground out by Todd Walker. They built the lead to 3-0 in the third inning on a two-run home run by Ron Coomer.

The Twins made it 5-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Paul Molitor and an RBI double by Orlando Merced.

Notes: The Angels, who have lost nine of their last 16 games, have not been lower than second in the AL West since April 23. ... Anaheim's Dave Hollins made his first start as designated hitter since June 3, 1996 when he was a member of the Twins. ... Since David Wells' perfect game against the Twins on May 17, Minnesota has scored 6.5 runs and are averaging 11 hits per game. ... The Twins are last in the AL in home runs (40). ... A 12-foot high temporary foul pole was installed down the left-field line in the Metrodome for Sunday's game. A fierce storm, packing 70 mph winds, an hour after Saturday night's game caused the Teflon roof to ripple and loosened the nylon foul net's steel support cable. Speakers, suspended from the roof, swayed 4-to-5 feet. No other damage was reported.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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