CLEVELAND -- Jhonny Peralta took an easy approach and lined a hard game-winning hit.
"The only thing I thought is we really need a hit to win, so don't try too hard," Peralta said. "I figured they would pitch inside. That's where it was, so I just swung."
Mark Teixeira extended his season-high hitting streak to 13 games and had four RBI for New York. He hit a two-run homer, his 16th, in the sixth off former Yankees right-hander Carl Pavano. His two-run double off Matt Herges in the eighth tied it at 4.
"He's been hot his whole career, not just now," Pavano said of Teixeira, who is hitting .400 with 20 RBI during his streak.
New York played its 17th straight errorless game, tying the major league record set by Boston in June 2006, but lost for only the fourth time in 18 games.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi gave Brett Gardner at first base the steal sign with Posada up, but the rookie didn't go.
"It has been addressed," Girardi said.
"The walks hurt us," Girardi said. "That's the bottom line. Walks aren't something you can afford in that situation.
"They got the hit. We didn't."
After Cabrera twice bunted foul, manager Eric Wedge gave him the green light to swing away.
"I saw Wedge take off the bunt sign and saw what Asdrubal was doing and thought, 'Good luck to you,'" Peralta said.
Cabrera said he wasn't worried about bunting foul for a third strike.
"I feel comfortable bunting, that's my game," the shortstop said. "I wanted to move the runner and stay out of the double play."
Pavano pitched well for 7 1/3 innings, leaving with a 4-2 lead as he sought his sixth win in seven starts in May.
"They are a tough team," Pavano said. "We played great, let it slip away, but came back. We got a win, so I'm happy."
The right-hander signed a four-year, $40 million contract with New York in 2005, but spent much of his time on the disabled list. In only 26 starts, he was 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA.
He got off to a rocky start in Cleveland after signing a one-year, free-agent contract in January. He was 0-3 with a 9.50 ERA in four April starts before becoming one of the Indians' few bright spots in May.
The Indians put All-Star center fielder Grady Sizemore on the 15-day disabled list before the game with an inflamed left elbow and played without catcher Victor Martinez, who bruised his left knee Saturday. Reliever Rafael Betancourt made only three pitches before leaving with a right groin strain Sunday.
Pavano yielded a one-out single to Derek Jeter in the eighth and was replaced by Rafael Perez. Johnny Damon sent Jeter to third with a double and Perez was replaced by Betancourt, who went to a 2-1 count on Teixeira -- and had to leave.
"It hurt a lot," Betancourt said. "I've had a little pain there for a couple days and been doing a lot of stretching. On that pitch I just felt it pop. I think it's going to hurt for a while."
Teixeira hit a 3-2 pitch from Herges off the wall, just out of the reach of a leaping Crowe in center to score both Jeter and Damon and ruin Pavano's bid for a win.
Pavano gave up three runs and seven hits, striking out four without a walk.
- Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to start Monday night. It would be his first appearance in Cleveland since the 2007 AL Division Series when he was bombarded by a swarm of bugs.
- Jeter has batted .397 (25-for-63) during a 14-game hitting streak.
- Cabrera has hit .328 (19-for-58) with 8 runs and 9 RBI in 13 games in the leadoff spot.
- Cleveland called up utilityman Chris Gimenez from Triple-A Columbus. Gimenez, who can catch, served as backup to Kelly Shoppach with Martinez ailing.