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ACE HURLERS STALL BONILLA, STRAWBERRY

A pitching duel between Stanford aces reduced the returns of Darryl Strawberry and Bobby Bonilla to New York into a sideshow.

Jack McDowell, whose claim to fame thus far this season was making an obscene gesture to the home fans, threw a three-hitter Monday night as the Yankees earned a 3-0 victory over Mike Mussina and the Baltimore Orioles.Strawberry, returning to the city where he played eight seasons for the Mets, received a 20-second ovation when he came to bat for the first time.

But with both McDowell and Mussina at their best, Strawberry's 0-for-3 performance had no impact on the game between the second-and third-place teams in the AL East.

"The notoriety (of Strawberry's return) certainly didn't detract from the game. That was a real major-league ballgame out there," Yankees manager Buck Showalter said.

In winning his 100th career game, McDowell (9-8) pitched his first shutout of the season. He struck out five, walked three and allowed only one runner to reach second base.

McDowell said he was inspired by the early success of Mussina (13-6), the winningest pitcher in the majors.

"It keeps you locked in when a guy goes out there and is so dominant early in the game," McDowell said. "We got a couple breaks and won the game. There's not much more that you can say about it than that."

Mussina held the Yankees to two hits though six innings, but with two outs and two men on in the seventh, Tony Fernandez hit a bouncer back to the mound that bounced off Mussina's glove and behind the mound. He threw wildly past first, allowing Sierra to score from second.

Pat Kelly followed with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.

Bonilla, in his first appearance in New York since the Mets traded him to Baltimore, went 0-for-3 and is hitting .216 in the AL.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4

Boston completed an 8-2 road trip at the Skydome with its fifth straight victory and retained its 5 1/2-game lead in the East.

Angels 9, Rangers 2

California's big bats delivered at home as J.T. Snow, Tony Phillips, Tim Salmon and Jim Edmonds all homered in support of Mike Harkey's third straight victory.

Twins 9, Athletics 6

Mark Acre walked .214-hitting Rich Becker with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth to force in the winning run at the Metrodome.

After Minnesota blew a four-run lead and fell behind 6-5, Marty Cordova led off the eighth with a home run off reliever Carlos Reyes (1-3) to tie the game. Kirby Puckett, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, added a two-run single to account for the final margin.

Mariners 6, White Sox 4

Mike Blowers continued driving in runs, knocking in two more at the Kingdome to give him 10 in his last three games and 17 in his last five. His 68 RBIs for the season are good for 10th in the league.

National League

Dodgers 3, Giants 1

At San Francisco, Jose Bautista says his only mistake was the hanging slider that Eric Karros hit into the left-field bleachers - a game-winning two-run homer in the 12th.

Braves 5, Expos 1

Atlanta's victory at Olympic Stadium increased the Braves' lead in the NL East to 11 1/2 games, the club's largest first-place margin since moving to Atlanta in 1966.

Mets 5, Marlins 2

Dave Mlicki, who started in place of the injured Pete Harnisch, won for the first time in eight starts. In striking out a career-high 10 at Shea Stadium, Mlicki (5-5) gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings.