ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — When New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi needed an emergency catcher, he looked down the bench and turned to someone who had plenty of experience — five-time All-Star Jorge Posada.
A rash of injuries forced Girardi to field a lineup that didn't put up much resistance against Los Angeles Angels right-hander Dan Haren, who beat New York 6-0 Sunday night. Haren tossed a four-hitter for his fifth career shutout and retired 18 straight batters to top the Yankees and CC Sabathia.
In the second inning, catcher Russell Martin took a foul tip off the bat of Maicer Izturis and remained in the game after being checked out by the trainer. Izturis lined the next pitch over the head of center fielder Curtis Granderson for an RBI double.
Martin, however, was pulled before the Angels batted in the third after he appeared to have trouble throwing the ball back to the mound while warming up Sabathia because of a bruised right hand. X-rays were negative.
"It hit the end of the thumb and bent the nail right in the middle," Martin said. "I couldn't really feel the baseball in my hand when I threw to second base. I knew at some point the feeling was going to come back. It was just a matter of how long it was going to take, and it took a little longer than I anticipated.
"It took about an hour and a half after the fact. We're going to see how it feels (Sunday) when I come in and get some treatment on it, and we'll go from there."
Posada came out in his gear to the delight of hundreds of Yankee fans, who gave him a thunderous ovation. With Francisco Cervelli also hurt and rookie Jesus Montero being used as a DH, Posada became the only option.
"I got a chance to get back behind the plate," Posada said. "I didn't think it was going to happen in September. But Cervy's down, Montero was DH-ing and Martin was banged up. I have my equipment with me. I'm en emergency catcher, like I was today. Joe said, 'What do you think?' So I said, 'Well, if you need me, I'm there.' He said, 'Go ahead. It's like riding a bike.' I was excited. It was fun. I'll be sore tomorrow, but I'll sleep well tonight."
Howie Kendrick led off with an infield single, then tried to steal second and was erased by Posada, who has been limited to first base and designated hitter duty this season.
"It showed a lot of guts to go back there and do what he did," said Girardi, who took heat from Posada earlier this season when he put him ninth in the batting order. "I thought he did fine. He'll get back there every once in a while to warm up a pitcher in-between innings and it kind of gives him that feel. But it's not easy."
Martin started behind the plate in place of Cervelli, It was the second straight day in which Cervelli was in Girardi's original lineup, only to be scratched because of concussionlike symptoms stemming from his home plate collision with Baltimore's Nick Markakis on Thursday.
New York squandered a chance to pad its division lead over Boston, which lost to Tampa Bay, and remained 2½ games in front. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez sat out because of a troublesome left thumb that has hindered him the past three weeks. He has been shut down for at least three days.
Eric Chavez filled in at third base for Alex Rodriguez, and infielder Eduardo Nunez starting in the outfield for the first time in two big league seasons because right fielder Nick Swisher sat out his second straight game because of pain in his left elbow.
Sabathia (19-8) threw 119 pitches in six innings, allowing a run and eight hits. He struck out five and walked four — escaping bases-loaded jams in the first and sixth innings — but failed in his bid to become the first Yankees pitcher in 31 years with back-to-back 20-win seasons.
"CC's been a bulldog forever, man. That's why everybody wanted him," Hunter said. "In clutch situations, his changeup sinks a little more, his fastball is a little but harder, and his slider breaks a little more."
Hunter and Jeff Mathis homered for the Angels, who have won six of seven and climbed within 1½ games of Texas in the AL West with their sixth victory in seven games. They are as close to the Rangers as they've been since Aug. 10. They were a season-worst seven games out on Aug. 17.
"We're just hungry," Torii Hunter said. "We're grinding and we can smell that division title."
Haren (15-8) went the distance for the 15th time in 253 career starts, striking out seven and walking none for the 13th time this season. He threw 113 pitches.
The right-hander held the AL East leaders to a pair of eighth-inning singles after giving up a ground-rule double to Derek Jeter on his second pitch and a single by Montero leading off the second.
The Angels broke it open with a four-run seventh against Hector Noesi.
Notes: Wells stranded all eight runners that were on base during his five at-bats. ... The run Mathis scored in the second was the 1,000th allowed by Sabathia, who fanned Hunter in the third inning for his 2,000th career strikeout. The only left-handers younger than the 31-year-old Sabathia to reach 2,000 strikeouts were Sandy Koufax (29) and Sam McDowell (28). The only other active pitchers to reach the mark are Javier Vazquez and Tim Wakefield.