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Friday September 28, 2001
Orioles 0 @ Yankees 7

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Mussina remembers his 10 seasons as Cal Ripken's teammate.

"He looks as good as he's looked the last three or four years," Mussina said. "I was just fortunate to play with him as long as I did."

In the first game of Ripken's final series in New York, Mussina pitched a three-hitter to lead the New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-0 Friday night.

Ripken was 0-for-3 on a night Mussina was surprised by his own effectiveness.

"The warmup was borderline awful," Mussina said.

Eight of the 30 hitters Mussina faced hit the first pitch and Jeff Conine swung at all 12 pitches Mussina threw him in three at-bats.

"I was a little surprised that they came out swinging like that," Mussina said.

Mussina (16-11) pitched his third shutout this year and matched his season high with 13 strikeouts.

"Even when he got behind, he threw good enough pitches to keep it off the fat part of their bats," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Mussina fanned seven of his first nine batters, striking out the side in the third inning, and walked none. It was the 32nd double-digit strikeout game of Mussina's career.

After signing with the Yankees during the offseason, Mussina is 3-1 against his former team. Mussina, 4-0 in five starts since Aug. 22, got his third shutout of the season and the 18th of his career.

"He had a tough splitter. When has stuff like that you know he's going to be tough," said Larry Bigbe, who struck out twice but had the first of the three hits off Mussina, a single with one out in the fourth.

Ripken, who is retiring after this season, received a standing ovation in his each of his three at-bats, tipping his helmet to the crowd during his first plate appearance.

All of Baltimore's hits were singles, and the Orioles never got a runner beyond first base. New York improved to 13-4 against Baltimore this season.

Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams and Shane Spencer drove in two runs each for the AL East champions, preparing to face Oakland or Seattle in the first round of the playoffs.

Jason Johnson (10-12) gave up all seven runs, nine hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.

Martinez gave put the Yankees ahead with a two-run triple in the first after Johnson hit two batters with pitches. Martinez, who leads the Yankees with 113 RBI, then scored on a wild pitch.

Williams hit a two-run homer in third and Spencer chased Johnson with a bases-loaded single in the seventh.

Game notes
Mussina has four complete games this season, increasing his career total to 48. ... Williams' home run was the 203d of his career, tying him for ninth on the Yankees' career list. ... Mussina's strikeout of Jerry Hairston to end the third inning gave the pitcher 200 strikeouts for the fourth time in his career. ... With Roger Clemens (201), the Yankees have two pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts for the first time since 1904, when Jack Chesbro and Jack Powell did it. ... Yankees LF Chuck Knoblauch left for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, two innings after hyperextending his left wrist diving for Hairston's single. X-rays were negative.