NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia and James Shields pitched like All-Stars on Sunday, dueling back and forth, going the distance and not allowing a single earned run. The starters followed a day interrupted for celebrations by orchestrating one of the shortest games Yankee Stadium has held all season long.
The only reason it was able to end in two hours and 11 minutes was because of one of the few bad throws Shields made all day. With Robinson Cano on third with two outs in the seventh, Shields' errant pickoff attempt sailed above Sean Rodriguez's glove, allowing Cano to score the lone run in the Yankees' 1-0 win over the Rays that tied an April 27 game against the White Sox for the quickest game they have played in this season.
"It's hard," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said when asked to put what Sabathia did in perspective. "Just matching Shields zero for zero for zero for zero, and neither guy really giving many opportunities."
"All I had to do was lob it over there and I ended up air-mailing it," Shields said of the run-scoring play. "Ninety-nine times out of 100, I'm going to make that play. And I'm not going to think twice about it."
Cano, who had singled to start the inning, was able to reach third because of another bad throw, as B.J. Upton caught Jorge Posada's fly ball in center and fired a laser into the Yankees' dugout, well off his intended target of first base, where Cano was retreating to.
The two-base error set up the decisive run, and it came on the heels of another error by Upton, though his first one will not show up in the box score.
Upton was doubled off at first to end the top of the seventh after a failed hit-and-run with Rodriguez batting, as the third baseman flew out to Andruw Jones in right. Upton was already past second base by the time the third out was made at first.
"You usually don't win a 1-0 game like that," Girardi said. "But just Upton trying to double up Robbie, and he throws it away, and it's going to happen. And then Shields has picked so many guys off, second or third this year, and he just made a bad throw, and we got a break."
Upton was one of three Rays to make outs on the bases Sunday, surprising since they reached base just five times against Sabathia.
Sabathia was named to replace Shields on the American League All-Star team while on the mound in the third. But with a 5 p.m. ET flight to the Bahamas already booked, Sabathia showed why he was worthy of the late selection, and even had time to spare afterward.
He extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 23 2/3 innings while striking out nine, his fourth consecutive start with at least nine strikeouts. No Rays player reached third base on him, and the one that came closest, Rodriguez, was thrown out trying to steal third with none out in the second.
Armed with chants of "C-C" in the ninth inning, Sabathia finished off his 12th career shutout and became the Majors' only 13-game winner before the All-Star break, which is all the more impressive considering his first win this season did not come until his fifth start. At 13-4, he is the first Yankee with 13 wins at the All-Star break since 1996, when former teammate and fellow southpaw Andy Pettitte also went 13-4 in the first half.
Sabathia recorded his sixth straight win, and his 10th in his last 11 starts.
Fittingly, he can now add a fifth All-Star berth to those accolades, a feat that both Sabathia and the crowd learned about through the Yankee Stadium public address announcer after Sabathia got Elliot Johnson swinging to end the game.
Girardi was managing the ninth inning on a batter-by-batter basis, and had closer Mariano Rivera warming up, but Sabathia said he did not know what it would take for him to exit the game after another sterling performance.
"He came down and asked me if I was all right, and I told him 'Yeah,'" Sabathia said of Girardi. "And he said, 'Would you tell me if you weren't?' And I said, 'No, you're going to have to come get it from me.'"
Sabathia received a complementary pie in the face from A.J. Burnett after the game, a ritual normally reserved for walk-off hits.
Asked if he felt justice had been served when he was named to the All-Star team, Sabathia said he was never upset by the initial omission.
"I was going to the Bahamas the whole time, because I was pitching today," he said. "So it's definitely exciting to be able to be named, and that's exciting, but somebody's got to get snubbed.
"There's a lot of guys in the American League having great years. So if you look up and down, [Texas' Alexi] Ogando's having a great year and he didn't make it, so it's just one of those things."
Told Ogando was selected in his absence, Sabathia said: "So justice has been served."
Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.