Sabathia entered the game 2-7 with a 5.45 ERA, and then gave up back-to-back first-inning homers to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who passed Jimmie Foxx for sole possession of 17th on the all-time list with No. 535. After that, though, the big left-hander settled down, retiring 15 of his next 20 batters before getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes at the end of the sixth.
C.J. Wilson had a 2.44 ERA in 44 1/3 prior innings in this ballpark, but the Yankees broke the game open with four runs in the fifth, getting a solo homer from Young and a tiebreaking three-run shot from Gardner. The Angels have lost five straight immediately following a five-game winning streak.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Long ball to the rescue: After Sabathia gave up consecutive homers in the game's opening three minutes, it was the Yankees' fifth inning that turned things around, giving the left-hander some much-needed run support. Young belted a leadoff homer over the left-field fence to tie the game at 2. Moments later, with one out, Gardner hit a three-run shot over the right-field fence to put the Yankees ahead 5-2. Pirela's first Major League homer came in the seventh. The Yankees have now homered in 14 of their last 16 games and have hit at least two in six of their last nine home contests. More >
Second (base)-guessing: The Angels had a chance to take an early three-run lead in the top of the third, but Trout may have been a little over-aggressive. With runners on the corners and one out, Trout tried to tag up to second on a fly ball by David Freese, but was thrown out just before Erick Aybar could cross home plate, negating the run and ending the inning.
"I was just trying to be aggressive there," said Trout, who felt Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius blocked his path while fielding the throw from right fielder Carlos Beltran. "I kind of stopped a little bit to avoid him instead of going right through him. I talked to the umps after that play. If he's in the way, I can run into him. That little half-step I took cost me."
Day cut short: Sabathia's resilient day came to an abrupt end after the sixth inning, when he and Yankees manager Joe Girardi were ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Dan Bellino. For Sabathia, it cut short a pitching performance that started with back-to-back home runs in the first inning but had been righted by the five innings of scoreless ball that followed. More >
Can't stop the bleeding: Wilson was in pretty good shape in the fifth, despite starting it with Young's leadoff homer. He had one out, the game was still tied and the bottom of the order was due up. But John Ryan Murphy and Gregorius hit back-to-back sharp singles, then Gardner turned on a 2-0 inside-corner fastball that was supposed to be low and away.
"I threw a two-seamer 1-0 that was a little too low, and if he swings at that, it's probably a ground-ball double play," said Wilson, who has given up 20 runs in 30 innings over his last five starts, increasing his ERA from 2.62 to 3.92. "I should've just come back with that [two-seamer] instead of throwing the four-seamer."
"That I'm old, that I've been around for a long time. I always say, 'When I retire, I can look back and say that's a big deal.' But right now, I'm just in the middle of the season, and trying to help this team win some games." -- Sabathia, on what the 2,500 career strikeouts milestone means to him
"We need to step up our game. We need to play more consistent baseball if we're going to reach our goal. It's in this team. We feel it's in this team." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the state of his team
Pujols lofted a fly ball over the left-field fence to pass Foxx and put him one away from tying Mickey Mantle with 536 home runs. It was Pujols' 15th home run of the year and his seventh over the last 10 games, and it marked the fourth time that Trout and Pujols have hit back-to-back home runs. Pujols also tied George Brett for 15th on the all-time list with 1,119 extra-base hits. The 35-year-old first baseman is four RBIs away from tying Ernie Banks (1,636 career RBIs) for 29th place. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels will have their second off-day in a five-day stretch Monday, then start a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 5.08 ERA) will get the ball for the 4:10 p.m. PT start, nine days after giving up two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Tigers.
Yankees: The Yankees will take an off-day Monday before starting a two-game series with the Nationals on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 2.76 ERA) will make his second start since coming off the disabled list last week. Last time out, he held the Mariners to one run over seven innings.