ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) - Los Angeles Angels starter Dan Haren pitched a complete game to shutout the New York Yankees 6-0 at Angel Stadium on Saturday.
Despite the loss, the Yankees maintained their 2.5 game lead over Boston in the American League East as the Red Sox fell 6-5 to Tampa Bay in 11 innings. The win enables the Angels to narrow the Texas Rangers lead in the American League West to 1.5 games.
Haren allowed four hits and just two runners past second base while striking out seven to improve his record to 15-8 on the season.
"Jeff (Mathis) called a great game and had good at-bats," Haren said of his catcher. "I was right with him from pitch one. He called an absolutely perfect game."
Following a lead-off single to Yankees designated hitter Jesus Montero in the second inning, Haren retired 18 consecutive batters until Eric Chavez singled in the eighth inning.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia, searching for his 20th win, battled through six difficult innings and held the Angels to just one run despite allowing 13 base runners.
"We're in September, and a lot of guys (relievers) are tired, said Sabathia. "They've been used a lot. I blame that game on me."
The Angels pounced on the Yankees' bullpen, however, scoring four runs in the seventh inning off reliever Hector Noesi, highlighted by a two-run homer by Mathis.
Torii Hunter capped the scoring in the eighth inning with a solo home run off George Kontos.
"I'd rather have a shutout than a big offensive game," Mathis said. "That's my number one goal, my number one priority. If you can get a guy to do that against a lineup like that, you have to feel pretty good."
Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was forced into action behind the plate for the first time since last year's playoffs due to an injury to Russell Martin's right thumb in the second inning.
"I'm an emergency catcher. That's what they wanted from the get-go, even in spring training," Posada said. "Everybody was supportive. I've got great teammates."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Alastair Himmer)