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Some day Andre Dawson will enter the Hall of Fame based on his abilities at the plate: he is only the second player in major league history to have at least 2,000 hits, 350 home runs and 300 stolen bases. But Thursday, the 1987 National League MVP showed another aspect of his game that deserves recognition - his arm.

Dawson gunned down pinch runner Tony Perezchica, the potential tying run who was attempting to score on a fly ball, to end the game and secure the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.With one out, Mike Kingery lofted a fly ball to medium right field off of Paul Assenmacher. Dawson made the catch, then unleashed a perfect one-hop throw to catcher Rick Wilkins who applied the tag on Perezchica.

Giants Manager Roger Craig had no problem with putting the Dawson to the test.

"I'd have done the same thing," Craig said. "The only thing I might regret about it is that we had (Matt) Williams coming up next. I might have liked to let him hit.

"But I know who's out there and how well he can throw the ball. If his throw is even a little off-line, we've got the tying run home."

Cubs Manager Jim Essian saw things a little differently.

"I don't have time to build up my hopes on a play like that," Essian said. "If I was thinking anything, it was probably just that he would get some momentum going to make the throw."

The game-ending double play made a winner of Mike Bielecki, 8-4, who got the win in his first relief appearence of the season. It also capped a topsy-turvy game that saw the lead change hands three times.

Cardinals 12, Padres 1

At San Diego, Bob Tewksbury, 5-2, scattered seven hits with five strikeuts over seven innings and helped his cause with two singles and an RBI. Ozzie Smith added a double, triple and four RBI for the Cardinals, who collected 12 hits against five San Diego pitchers.

Phillies 5, Astros 4

At Houston, John Morris scored twice, including Philadelphia's only earned run, and the Phillies, despite being held to three hits, ended a four-game losing streak in a game marred by errors.

Dodgers 3, Pirates 2

At Pittsburgh, Alfredo Griffin singled home Lenny Harris with the winning run in the ninth in a battle between division leaders. Stan Javier singled to lead off the ninth against Randy Tomlin, 3-3. After Harris was hit by a pitch, Javier was forced out at third with Harris moving to second on an attempted sacrifice by Mike Scioscia. Griffin then singled to drive in Harris.

Braves 3, Mets 2

At New York, Sid Bream slammed a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Pete Smith, 1-0, earned the win by allowing four hits over seven innings.

Reds 3, Expos 2

At Montreal, Chris Hammond allowed two hits over six innings and Glenn Braggs singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning for Cincinnati.

American League

Twins 10, Yankees 3

The recent surge by Minnesota has simply fulfilled the expectations of Twins outfielder Chili Davis.

Led by Davis' 13th and 14th homers of the year and Scott Erickson' 10th straight decision, the Twins tied a club record with their 12th straight win, a 10-3 victory over the New York Yankees.

"You don't come to a team because you think they're not a good team, " said Davis, who left the California Angels as a free agent in the off season to sign with Minnesota. "You come to a team because you feel you have a chance to win, and that that team's got the players to win with.

"To tell you the truth, I really believed that when I came over here. I thought they'd be a surprise team and there weren't going to be any surprises to me because the players here are all proven."

The triumph was the Twins' 15th in their last 16 games, including sweeps of the Yankees, Cleveland and Baltimore on their 10-game homestand.

Davis, who has already hit two more homers than he did in all of 1990 with the Angels, clubbed a solo shot in the third inning and a two-run blast in the eighth. The switchhitter's second homer went 459 feet to dead center.

Royals 6, Orioles 4

At Baltimore, Kirk Gibson slammed the 200th home run of his career, a two-run game-winning shot in the ninth inning. After Brian McRae stroked a one-out single, Gibson lofted a 2-1 pitch from reliever Paul Kilgus, 0-2, over the 360-foot sign in right field.

Rangers 8, White Sox 4

At Arlington, Texas, Julio Franco went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer and Ruben Siera added a two-run shot for the Rangers. texas, which won a club record 14 straight have now won three in a row after dropping eight straight.

Blue Jays 1, Indians 0

At Cleveland, Jimmy Key threw a two-hitter and Roberto Alomar scored the lone run on an error for Toronto. Key, 10-2, struck out five and walked none in pitching his third career two-hitter. He permitted singles to Joel Skinner and Felix Fermin with one out in the third after retiring the first seven hitters.Cleveland starter Charles Nagy, 2-7, pitched a seven-hitter, striking out six and walking two in losing his fifth decision of his last six.

Mariners 6, Tigers 5

At Seattle, Alvin Davis hit a two-run homer to cap a three-run eighth inning for the Mariners. Davis hit a 2-1 pitch from Paul Gibson, 2-3, over the right-field wall, giving the Mariners their eighth win this season in their final at-bat.