Jae C. Hong, AP
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Hours before Andy Pettitte turned 41, Chris Iannetta tagged him for a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning — that sent the Yankees to a fourth straight loss.
C.J. Wilson outdid Pettitte with seven effective innings in a matchup of All-Star left-handers, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo each had three hits and the Los Angeles Angels beat injury-ravaged New York 5-2 Friday night.
"It was frustrating," Pettitte said. "I felt pretty good, but my command definitely wasn't quite where I wanted it to be early on. That's a tough lineup over there with a lot of big strong right-handed hitters, and you've got to make quality pitches. I was just trying to be real aggressive with all of my pitches, hopefully get them to put the ball in play early — and give us some length after that game yesterday."
Coming off a draining 3-2 loss, 18-inning loss Thursday that took 5 hours and 35 minutes, the Yankees didn't get their first hit until Robinson Cano bounced a single between third baseman Alberto Callaspo and the bag with two out in the fourth.
A single by former Angel Vernon Wells put runners at the corners before Wilson walked just-promoted Thomas Neal to load the bases. Rookie David Adams, getting a rare start at second base with Cano making only his third start as the designated hitter, put New York ahead 2-1 with a two-run single that ended an 0-for-12 drought. A walk to Reid Brignac loaded them up again, but Wilson minimized the damage by retiring Austin Romine on a fielder's choice grounder.
The Angels tied it in the bottom half on Iannetta's sacrifice fly. They got their first run on a first-inning RBI double by Howie Kendrick, who came in 4 for 24 against Pettitte. Kendrick is batting .402 over his last 28 games, and his .344 average against the Yankees since 2006 is the highest by any player with a minimum of 175 at-bats against them during that stretch.
Kendrick also came up big with the glove, robbing Adams of a hit in the sixth inning with a diving stop just to the right of second base and flipping to shortstop Erick Aybar to start an inning-ending double play.
Pettitte (5-4) was charged with four runs and 11 hits through seven innings. The three-time All-Star struck out four, increasing his total as a Yankee to 1,944 and putting him within 12 of Whitey Ford's franchise record.
"He's had a phenomenal career, and he's still going out there and striking guys out," Wilson said. "He's very durable and he throws a lot of innings. He hasn't always had the sparkling super-low ERA, but he's still got the craft. If you could swap places and have a career like he's had, you'd be really happy."
Three of the seven Yankees who played a defensive position through all 18 innings against Oakland weren't in the starting lineup for the opener of this three-game series — right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, catcher Chris Stewart and third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who went back on the disabled list Friday with a back problem. Suzuki pinch-hit in the eighth and flied out.
Pettitte wasn't sent to Anaheim ahead of the team before the series finale against the Athletics and had to endure all 18 innings with the rest of them.
"It was a long day yesterday, but we knew there was another game today," he said. "So I feel like everyone was pretty upbeat, and I know that I was ready and excited to get out there and pitch. I'm sure a lot of guys were probably running on fumes a little bit."
The game was tied 2-all when Pujols led off the sixth with a ground-rule double that landed just inside the right field line on the warning track. Trumbo followed with a single to left field, and Wells made a perfect throw on the fly to Romine for the tag on the struggling Pujols as he made a headfirst slide after being waved around by third base coach Dino Ebel. But Iannetta put Los Angeles ahead three batters later with an RBI single.
Wilson struck out the side in the seventh, and Peter Bourjos led off the bottom half with a towering popup that fell midway between shortstop Brignac and Adams behind the bag for a base hit. Two outs later, Pujols singled and Trumbo singled home Bourjos for a 4-2 lead.
Wilson (5-5) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out four and walked three while winning for only the second time in his last eight starts. Ernesto Frieri followed Kevin Jepsen out of the bullpen and pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 attempts.
Mike Trout ended the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth off former Angels reliever Chris Bootcheck, who was recalled from Triple-A on Friday. Bootcheck ended the inning by retiring Pujols on a first-pitch popup with the bases loaded after getting a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
NOTES: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is retiring at the end of this season, made his final trip to the ballpark where he made his major league debut on May 23, 1995 — in a starting role. The man who would become baseball's all-time saves leader struck out his first two batters that night at the "Big A," but allowed five runs in 3 1-3 innings. ... Pettitte is 2-6 with a 5.75 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Angels. He has never had a complete game at Anaheim in 19 starts here.