ANAHEIM, Calif. - Make the loss about CC Sabathia all you want.
Mike Trout did in the Yankees Monday night.
Trout, looking like a speedy NFL wideout running a "go" route, chased down three long drives to steal extra-base hits, twice off the bat of Chris Young.
The All-Star centerfielder also hit a home run in leading the Angels to a 4-1 victory in front of 42,056 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
"He was really the difference in the game,'' Joe Girardi said. "He's responsible for about four or five runs in this game. Taking three away from us, maybe four, and providing one himself.''
Said Sabathia, "That's what he does. It's Mike Trout. CY hit the ball hard twice and he made some great plays.''
Sabathia (3-8, 5.59) wasn't terrible, allowing four runs and six hits, including two homers, in 71/3 innings. Each of the first three runs off him scored with two outs: a double by Albert Pujols in the first inning, a tiebreaking homer by Trout in the third and a double by Kole Calhoun in the fifth. C.J. Cron led off the seventh with a home run.
"When he makes a mistake, they're squaring it up,'' Girardi said. "We've talked about how his command is really important for him. When you miss, you're going to get hit.''
Said Sabathia, "I just battled. I made some good pitches, made some bad pitches. Just a part of it, but I'm battling and I feel I'm getting better. Two-seamer was pretty good tonight. Just got caught there with a couple of cutters and gave up a couple of homers.''
The Yankees hit lefty C.J. Wilson hard but squandered some opportunities, and had several taken away by Trout.
Their first chance against Wilson (6-6), who somehow allowed only one run in six sloppy innings, came in the first.
Brett Gardner, who went 3-for-5 to extend his hot streak to 25-for-50, hit the second pitch of the game to right-center for a double. Two outs later, with Mark Teixeira at the plate, Gardner tried to advance on a ball that got away from Carlos Perez but was thrown out. Third-base umpire Jim Reynolds initially called Gardner safe, but the call was overturned on a replay challenge.
The Angels took the lead in a 23-pitch first. Leadoff man Johnny Giavotella singled but Sabathia responded by striking out Calhoun and Trout. Pujols, who came in with 15 homers and 30 RBIs in his previous 29 games, poked a first-pitch fastball to right for a double to make it 1-0. It was the 1,131st extra-base hit of Pujols' career, tying him with Tris Speaker for 13th all-time.
The Yankees, who stranded nine, scored in the third. Didi Gregorius worked a one-out walk and Gardner lined a single to left. Young then lined a drive to center that Trout didn't seem to have a chance to catch at first. But he charged back and tracked it down, making a leaping stab just before the ball sailed over his head. Alex Rodriguez then punched an RBI single to right to tie it at 1-1.
Trout untied it with two outs in the third, driving a 1-and-1 fastball well over the 396-foot sign in left-center for his 20th homer. He became the sixth AL player with four seasons of at least 20 homers before their age-24 season, joining A-Rod (1996-99), Ken Griffey Jr. (1990-93), Tony Conigliaro (1964-67), Mickey Mantle (1952-55) and Ted Williams (1939-42).
The Yankees nearly tied it in the fifth, but Trout denied them again. After Gardner smashed a one-out double off first baseman Cron, Trout again robbed Young, this time darting back and making another leaping catch on a drive to deep left-center. Young jokingly waved his hand in a dismissive fashion at Trout, who was all smiles.
"Nice play,'' Young said. "Just having a little fun. From a fellow outfielder, you can understand that that's what he's supposed to do out there. He's a great player.''
Young added of his two drives, "I thought they were both hits, and then you remember Trout is out there. He's been known to make quite a few web gems, and he made some good plays tonight, so you tip your hat to him.''
With the score 3-1, Carlos Beltran singled to start the sixth, but Trout made it 3-for-3 on long runs, stealing a hit from Chase Headley with a running catch of his drive to deep right-center.
Said Gardner, "We only get to see him five or six times a year, but he's a difference-maker it seems every night. He made some great plays out there . . . I'm aware of who's out there in centerfield and what he's capable of doing.''