Mike Mussina tossed seven brilliant shutout innings while Doug Mientkiewicz homered and finished with four RBI, as the New York Yankees crushed the Baltimore Orioles, 12-0, at Yankee Stadium. Mussina (10-10) struck out six and issued only one walk for the Yankees, who have won three straight -- including the first two of this three-game series -- and continued their climb toward the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East. This New York win coupled with Bostons 4-3 loss at Toronto brought the Yankees within 2 1/2 games of the rival Red Sox. The Yankees also increased their lead over Detroit to 4 1/2 games atop the wild card standings. The Tigers lost at Cleveland earlier Tuesday. Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui both drove in three runs and Derek Jeter ended 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the win. Jon Leicester (2-2) suffered the loss after he allowed six runs on six hits over four innings. Ramon Hernandez posted two of the three hits for Baltimore, which has dropped six of its last nine games overall. Mussina issued his lone walk to the games first batter, Brian Roberts, but induced a 1-6-3 double play off the bat of Tike Redman and fanned Nick Markakis to end the first inning. After a perfect second inning, Mussina worked around a one-out single by Hernandez when he struck out Freddie Bynum and forced Roberts to ground out. Following Mussinas 1-2-3 half-inning in the top of the fourth, the Yanks exploded for six runs in the home portion of the frame. Jeter started with a single and moved to third on a double by Bobby Abreu before both runners scored on Matsuis two-base hit. Jorge Posada then drew a walk and a Robinson Cano single allowed Matsui to cross the plate for a 3-0 lead. With runners on first and second, Mientkiewicz stepped to the plate and crushed a Leicester fastball into the seats in right field. It was the fifth homer of the season for Mientkiewicz. Mussinas stellar outing continued in the fifth with another perfect stanza and in the sixth, he yielded a leadoff single to Hernandez but got three straight outs. New Yorks seventh run was scored in the home sixth when Posada came home on a sacrifice fly by Cabrera. Mussina was put to work defensively in the seventh. He used his glove to cut down a screaming line drive by Markakis and easily threw him out at first. Miguel Tejada then sent a dribbler towards the New York twirler, who dove and spun but his throw did not have enough on it and Tejada legged out an infield single. Kevin Millar then became the third straight batter to hit the ball directly at Mussina, who did not have enough time to attempt a double play and settled for the easy out at first. Aubrey Huff then watched as a fastball caught the inside of the plate for a called third strike. The hosts continued to pour it on in the bottom of the frame and added five more runs. After an RBI single by Matsui, Posada drew a walk that loaded the bases and Rob Bell entered from the Baltimore bullpen. Cano and Mientkiewicz hit consecutive bloop singles that dropped into shallow left-center and shallow right-center field and drove in Abreu and Matsui, respectively, before Cabrera followed with a two-run base hit that capped the scoring. Jose Veras tossed a scoreless eighth and Ron Villone finished off the ninth. Game Notes Mussina, who pitched the first 10 years of his career with the Orioles, is now 10-6 lifetime versus his former team. He threw 98 pitches, 65 for strikes...The Yankees pounded out 13 hits...The scheduled pitching matchup for Wednesdays series finale will feature Andy Pettitte versus Baltimores Brian Burres...New York will host Toronto for four games starting on Friday...Attendance was 52,685.