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Sloppy Yankees can't complete sweep of Angels

Yanks take 4-0 lead before Tanaka allows pair of two-run homers and bullpen lets game get away.  

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees leaves the game

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees leaves the game after allowing a walk to Tommy La Stella of the Angels in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Photo Credit: Getty Images/John McCoy

ANAHEIM, Calif. — From the outset, Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have much of a feel for many of his pitches and got few swings-and-misses. Still, it appeared as if the Yankees again would find a way — a characteristic of the team this season, particularly in the last week. But not this night.

Tanaka’s lack of sharpness eventually caught up to him as the Yankees’ four-run lead disintegrated in a flurry of two-run homers in the bottom of the fifth. That, some poor defensive work behind the plate by Gary Sanchez and a shoddy bullpen performance ultimately cost the Yankees, who saw their winning streak end at six games with an 11-5 loss to the Angels.

“We had the momentum there, we scored two runs, which made it four runs [4-0],” Tanaka said through his translator. “You give up four runs [the next inning], you just can’t do that. I feel responsible.”

The Yankees (14-11), who had won eight of their past nine games, will continue their three-city West Coast trip Friday night in San Francisco.

Tanaka (2-2, 3.60), who induced only one swing-and-miss among his 89 pitches, was charged with six runs (five earned) and allowed six hits and three walks in 5 2⁄3 innings.

“I don’t know,” he said of the lack of swings-and-misses. “Bottom line for me is to make adjustments and try and go out there and be more effective.”

After allowing two-run homers by Tommy La Stella and Kole Calhoun in the fifth that tied it at 4-4, Tanaka departed with two outs in the sixth after two walks and was replaced by Jonathan Holder. A passed ball, which occurred because of a cross-up — Sanchez said he was expecting a fastball but got a slider — advanced the runners, and David Fletcher (five RBIs) lashed a two-run single to left to make it 6-4.

The Angels then piled on Stephen Tarpley, recalled Wednesday, and Joe Harvey, who arrived just before first pitch along with newly acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin, in a five-run seventh. Andrelton Simmons had a two-run single and Fletcher added a three-run triple in the inning.

The Yankees did score a run in the eighth and loaded the bases, but Sanchez, 0-for-7 with five strikeouts since coming off the IL, flied to left against former Met Hansel Robles to end the threat.

“Probably timing,” Sanchez said through his translator of the rust he’s shaking off at the plate. “It’s a little off, but that’s normal. The more I play, the better I’m going to get.”

The Yankees, who had nine hits, drew seven walks and stranded 11, got on the board in the third against Angels righthander Trevor Cahill. Tyler Wade reached on an infield single and stole second and third with DJ LeMahieu at the plate. LeMahieu hit a ground shot up the middle for an RBI single that made it 1-0 and improved the second baseman to 8-for-18 with 11 RBIs with runners in scoring position this season.

In the fourth, Gio Urshela launched a 1-and-1 breaking pitch to left for his first homer as a Yankee to make it 2-0.

Luke Voit, who extended his personal and currently MLB-best on-base streak to 36 games in the first inning with a single, started the fifth with his second of three hits and scored on a wild pitch. Gleyber Torres had an RBI single in the inning to make it 4-0, but that concluded the highlight portion of the night for the Yankees.

“Always frustrated when we don’t put our best foot forward,” said Aaron Boone, whose club had two errors and two passed balls. “A chance there where it looks like you have a chance to almost put that game away and we just didn’t get it done.”

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