But it was a Vernon Wells sacrifice fly for a 6-0 New York lead in the eighth that eventually proved to be the game-winner.
CC Sabathia (7-5) posted a third victory in four starts, allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings. The left-hander walked three and struck out six as the Yanks snapped a five-game skid.
He exited in the ninth with a six-run lead after allowing the first two runners to get aboard.
Jered Weaver (1-3) was tagged for five runs on seven hits in six innings for the Angels.