NEW YORK -- Yankee Stadium was nearly empty for Anibal Sanchez's major league debut. That doesn't mean his impressive performance went unnoticed.
"I was a little nervous because the Yankees are the big team in the big leagues," said Sanchez, who pointed to his mom in the crowd when he departed in the sixth. "I just kept throwing and following the catcher so we're working together."
In the opener, Mike Mussina outpitched Dontrelle Willis in a marquee matchup and Johnny Damon homered to snap a seventh-inning tie as New York won 2-1 for its fourth consecutive victory.
After a pair of established aces dueled all afternoon, perhaps both teams received a glimpse of a future pitching star in the nightcap.
Sanchez (1-0) was called up from Double-A Carolina for an emergency start after rain postponed Saturday's game, forcing the makeup date Sunday night. He allowed seven hits without a walk in 5 2/3 innings, striking out two.
The 22-year-old right-hander, acquired from Boston last November as part of a trade for Josh Beckett, didn't get into much trouble. Robinson Cano's sixth-inning double was the only extra-base hit against him.
The Yankees were the only major league team that hadn't been shut out this season.
"He didn't walk anyone tonight and that's impressive for a kid that a half an hour before the game (Saturday night) we pulled him out of Double-A and said, 'You're going to pitch up here,'" Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "He was outstanding. It's just another unbelievable performance by another young kid."
Cano strained his left hamstring while legging out his double. He was to be re-evaluated Monday, and his status for the series opener against Atlanta was uncertain.
Sanchez, who was 3-6 with a 3.15 ERA for Carolina, became the 20th rookie used by the Marlins this season -- and the 10th to make his major league debut. He retired eight of nine during one stretch to help Florida avoid a three-game sweep and win for the 11th time in 14 tries.
Sanchez is the second starting pitcher to win his major league debut against New York at Yankee Stadium in the past 10 years. Toronto's Gustavo Chacin did it on July 20, 2004.
"He had a lot of movement on his fastball," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It was cutting, it was sinking, he was impressive. I wish we had 50,000 people in the stands to intimidate him, not that it would have."
The sparse crowd of 6,809 was the smallest at Yankee Stadium since April 7, 1994, for a game against Texas. While the Marlins are used to tiny crowds, especially at home, New York is not -- more than 54,000 tickets were sold for Saturday.
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' liner, and reliever Randy Messenger retired Melky Cabrera on a popup.
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 on 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 during that span with a badly bruised left leg.
- The start of the first game was delayed 48 minutes by rain.
- Giambi was removed from the lineup minutes before the first pitch of the opener because of back spasms.
- Attendance for the opener was 53,615.