CLEVELAND -- An April win with all the texture of one in October was quickly chilled for the New York Yankees.
"It's very disappointing," said New York's dependable catcher, bothered by a sore shoulder for weeks. "It's probably the most disappointing thing in my career."
The troubling news on Posada came after Chien-Ming Wang shut down Cleveland for seven innings and outpitched C.C. Sabathia, who gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera as the Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak.
Wang (5-0) allowed four hits, struck out a season-high nine and became the AL's only five-game winner. Only one Cleveland runner reached third against the right-hander, who made 113 pitches and got the Yankees back to .500.
But Wang's fine outing was overshadowed by Posada, who has started more games than any AL catcher in the past eight seasons. He has caught at least 137 regular-season games each year since 2000 and appeared in 78 postseason games in the span.
"It's hard to lose a guy like Jorge," said closer Mariano Rivera, who worked the ninth for his 450th career save. "You can't replace him. You just hope he gets healthy and comes back strong as soon as he can."
Posada was a late scratch from the starting lineup. He first complained about a tired arm on April 8 and didn't catch for two weeks, hoping the rest would strengthen his shoulder. He caught the series opener on Friday and the last four innings on Saturday after he hit a tying, three-run pinch triple.
Posada said he felt pain in his shoulder after a throw on Saturday, and when he came to the ballpark on Sunday he couldn't even have a game of catch.
"We have to be smart about it," he said. "It's not getting any better. The MRI shows a strained muscle, but I think it's more than that. I want to really find out what it is."
Posada is expected to visit famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
One of the Yankees' leaders, Posada apologized for not being able to play and live up to the four-year, $52 million contract he signed in November.
"You want to play," he said. "You put your uniform on and you take a lot of pride in playing. We have to find out what it is and then go on."
Posada said playing anywhere but behind the plate is not an option.
"I'm not playing first base," he said. "I'm a catcher. We've got seven first basemen."
Wang got help from reliever Joba Chamberlain, who pitched a perfect eighth in his first appearance in Cleveland since Game 2 of last year's playoffs when tiny insects called midges swarmed him and the Yankees in the late innings.
Rivera worked a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two for his seventh save to join Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith as the only closers to reach the 450 milestone. After Wang gave up a leadoff single in the fifth, the Indians didn't manage another hit.
The trio of Wang, Chamberlain and Rivera combined for New York's other shutout, 2-0 over Tampa Bay on April 6. Wang improved to 17-1 in 23 career starts against AL Central teams.
Sabathia (1-4) dropped to 1-8 in regular-season games against the Yankees. The defending AL Cy Young winner pitched eight strong innings, giving up just four hits -- one of them a one-out homer in the fifth inning to Cabrera, who pulled a first-pitch changeup.
"He put a good swing on it and hit it out of the park," Sabathia said with a shrug.
Like the Yankees, the Indians played without their most durable player.
Center fielder Grady Sizemore sat because of a sore right ankle, ending the majors' longest consecutive games streak at 382. Sizemore called his injury a "mild sprain" and manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the All-Star will go on the DL.
Locked in an October-like pitching matchup, Sabathia gave up a leadoff single to Robinson Cano in the fifth, then picked the Yankees' second baseman off first.
Cleveland's crowd had just quieted when Cabrera drove Sabathia's next pitch over the wall in left to give New York the only run it needed. It was Cabrera's fifth homer, and sixth allowed already by Sabathia in 32 innings this season.
Sabathia, who has had to battle emotional outbursts on the mound in the past, was able to keep his cool in the sixth.
Derek Jeter led off with a hard-hit double and moved to third on a groundout. After pitching coach Carl Willis came out for a visit, a fired-up Sabathia struck out Alex Rodriguez and Shelley Duncan to end the threat, punctuating both Ks by yelling and pounding his fist into his glove.
Sabathia said he was releasing pent-up frustration. He lost three of his first four starts.
"It was everything," he said.
Wang, who lost Game 1 to Sabathia in last year's playoffs, was poised from the start and only got in trouble once.
Wang gave up three other meaningless singles to the Indians, who came in batting just .251 and have struggled offensively all season.
"He was amazing and so was C.C.," Yankees catcher Jose Molina said. "You don't see many 1-0 games, and this was one to appreciate."
- Rivera has not allowed a run in 10 innings this season.
- Cleveland's Ryan Garko went 0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
- Wang is the first Yankees starter to be 5-0 since Kevin Brown in 2004.
- Jeter's .379 career average (78-for-206) is the highest for any player in Cleveland's 15-year-old ballpark.
- A new video game in the visitors' clubhouse called "Big Buck Hunter," where players fire fake shotguns at four-legged targets, has drawn a crowd of Yankees sharpshooters this weekend. On Sunday, Johnny Damon and pitcher Chris Britton were squaring off when manager Joe Girardi walked up. "You guys are killing cows," Girardi said.