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Tuesday June 5, 2001
Orioles 10 @ Yankees 3

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BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Mike Mussina thought he was getting away from an ace.

One day after avoiding Pedro Martinez, Mussina was bested by Jason Johnson as the Baltimore Orioles rolled past the New York Yankees, 10-3.

Johnson (5-3) continued to emerge for Baltimore, winning for the fourth time in five decisions. The 27-year-old righthander allowed three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six.

"I wanted to get the complete game, but it was probably time for me to come out even though I didn't like it," Johnson said.

In 10 of 12 starts this season, Johnson has surrendered three runs or less and has been part of the surprising success of the Orioles (27-29). Baltimore took the opener of the three-game series from the three-time defending world champions and has captured five of its last six series overall.

"Johnson was good," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He threw a lot of fastballs for strikes in the first few innings. He was challenging us and we couldn't hit him."

Mussina (5-6) was bumped from a start against Boston's Pedro Martinez on Monday, what would have been his third straight outing against the best pitcher in the game. On Tuesday, the longtime Oriole struggled from the start, allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings.

"He was frustrated by not being able to do what he wanted to do and what he was use to," Torre added. "They usually go back to the dugout shaking their heads, but today they had pretty good swipes on him."

"The things he accomplished here, and what he did for Baltimore will not be forgotten," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "But Mike is not an Oriole, he made the switch. It is nice to beat anybody, and it is nice to beat a pitcher of his caliber, but not because he played here nine or 10 years."

New York has faced Martinez on four occasions and is 3-1 in those contests. But the Yankees have lost the following game each time.

The Orioles broke through for a run in the first inning against Mussina after the Yankees' starter retired the first two batters. Chris Richard doubled and scored on Jeff Conine's single to left and Baltimore tacked on four runs in the second Rookie Jay Gibbons singled with one out but Mussina struck out Brook Fordyce. Jerry Hairston singled, stole second and Brady Anderson walked. Mike Bordick made it 3-0 with a base hit and Richard followed with a long double that scored Anderson and Bordick.

"I expect to do this once in a while," Richard said. "I had only seen him one time before tonight, and I didn't get deep in the counts to see everything he has. But any hitters sucess comes from a favorable count, and I have been able to do that lately."

"Having a five-run lead really helps because it generally takes me a while to get into my groove," Johnson said. "It allows me to relax on the mound. This wasn't my best game, I feel like I have done better before."

David Segui extended the lead to 6-0 with a base hit that scored Richard in the fifth before Paul O'Neill got the Yankees' first hit, a homer to lead off the fifth inning. The homer snapped an 0-for-13 slide for O'Neill.

New York reliever Brandon Knight made his major league debut in the sixth inning and surrendered back-to-back home runs to Anderson and Bordick.

New York got two runs in the eighth and knocked out Johnson. B.J. Ryan came on and allowed a run-scoring infield single and hit Bernie Williams with a pitch. But Tino Martinez ended the uprising by grounding out.

"He started to get tired at the end and was laboring a bit," Hargrove added. "He lost some comand. I won't leave a young pitcher out their to get hurt mentally or physcally. Had he had a shutout, I would have considered it, but with the situation what it was, there was no need for it."

The Yankees have dropped four of their last six games overall and have dropped two straight to Baltimore after winning the first six meetings of the season between the teams.