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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wang Chien-ming won his fifth consecutive game to pitch the New York Yankees to a 1-0 road victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
The Taiwanese right-hander (5-0), who is behind only Arizona's Brandon Webb (6-0) for most victories in the majors, held Cleveland to four hits over seven innings while striking out a season-high nine and walking two.
"He has been huge for us all year long," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. "He has pitched great. He knew what we needed and he gave it to us."
Wang said he mixed up his pitches better than a year ago when he lost at Cleveland in the American League Division Series.
"Last year, I only threw a lot of sinkers without changing a lot of speeds," he told reporters. "Today, I changed a lot of speeds."
Girardi said Wang's ability to mix his pitches had made him a more effective pitcher.
"He had a very good slider today, with his sinker as well," the Yankees manager said. "He mixed in some changeups and splits as well to the left-handers. I thought he had great depth on his slider, which kept the right-handers off balance."
Melky Cabrera gave the Yankees the only run they needed with a solo homer in the fifth inning off C.C. Sabathia (1-4).
"I've been lucky that I have five homers so far," Cabrera told reporters. "I'm just paying attention to that I'm in the lineup every day."
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Yankees, though they had to place starting catcher Jorge Posada on the disabled list with an injured right shoulder.
It is the first time Posada has been placed on the disabled list in his 13-year major league career.
"It's the biggest disappointment of my career, probably," said Posada.
"Not being able to participate in games, it's really tough for me. I thought it was coming along, but it's not. We have to find out what's really bothering me."
Sabathia, last season's American League Cy Young winner, pitched eight innings. He also gave up four hits, striking out eight and walking one.
"It's definitely frustrating to lose," said Sabathia.
"We don't get shut out very often, but Wang was good."
Writing by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury