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NYY 2, FLA 1; FLA 5, NYY 0

Split decision in Bronx

Marlins' Sanchez takes nightcap

Mike Mussina is the 28th pitcher in history to reach 2,500 strikeouts.
Mike Mussina is the 28th pitcher in history to reach 2,500 strikeouts. (Reuters Photo)

NEW YORK -- Anibal Sanchez won his major league debut, Miguel Cabrera homered, and the Florida Marlins beat the New York Yankees, 5-0, last night to split a doubleheader.

In the opener, Mike Mussina outpitched Dontrelle Willis in a marquee matchup that lived up to its billing, and Johnny Damon homered to snap a seventh-inning tie as New York won, 2-1, for its fourth consecutive victory.

Sanchez (1-0) was called up from Double A Carolina for an emergency start after rain postponed Saturday's scheduled game, forcing the makeup date last night. He shut down the Yankees for 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits without a walk and striking out two.

The Yankees, the only major league team that hadn't been shut out this season, lost second baseman Robinson Cano to a strained left hamstring after he doubled in the sixth.

The sparse crowd of 6,809 was the smallest at Yankee Stadium since April 7, 1994, for a game against Texas. More than 54,000 tickets were sold for Saturday's game, but that one was washed out.

Sanchez, a 22-year-old righthander acquired from the Red Sox last November as part of the trade for Josh Beckett, didn't get into much trouble. Cano's sixth-inning double was the only extra-base hit against him.

Sanchez, who was 3-6 with a 3.15 ERA for Carolina, retired eight of nine during one stretch to help the young Marlins avoid a three-game sweep and win for the 11th time in 14 tries.

New York's best chance came in the sixth, when Cano's double put runners at second and third with one out. But Marlins first baseman Wes Helms made a diving grab of Bernie Williams's liner, and reliever Randy Messenger retired Melky Cabrera.

Logan Kensing and Joe Borowski finished the seven-hitter, Florida's second shutout this year. It was the Marlins' first victory at Yankee Stadium since Beckett went the distance to clinch the 2003 World Series with a 2-0 win in Game 6.

Florida took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jeremy Hermida's RBI single off Shawn Chacon, who threw 16 pitches Saturday before the game was called. Miguel Cabrera made it 2-0 in the third with his 11th homer.

The Marlins padded their lead with the help of two throwing errors by Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi. The first one put runners at the corners in the fifth, setting up a double steal in which Reggie Abercrombie stole home.

Another bad throw by Giambi on Abercrombie's seventh-inning bunt allowed a run to score and sent Abercrombie all the way to third. He scored on a short sacrifice fly by Alfredo Amezaga, making it 5-0.

Chacon (4-2) allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in five innings. He hasn't won since May 6 -- he spent three weeks on the disabled list with a badly bruised left leg.

Mussina (9-3) became the 28th pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts, but he seemed more pleased with pitching seven strong innings and beating Willis.

``When you're up against a pitcher like Dontrelle, you know he's up for the game," Mussina said.

``When you know the other guy is pitching the way he has been, runs are going to be at a premium. We both pitched well. It was the kind of game you expect with two quality pitchers."

Mussina and Willis (4-7) dueled on even terms until Damon's upper-deck homer in the seventh broke a 1-1 tie and gave Mussina his 233d career victory.

Kyle Farnsworth escaped an eighth-inning jam and Mariano Rivera got three quick outs for his 16th save in 18 chances.

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