ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A team in dire need of a morale boost and a victory got both Thursday night when the Angels muscled their way out of a four-run hole for an 11-5 win over the New York Yankees, preventing a four-game sweep by the visitors in Angel Stadium.
The Angels had lost 10 of 12 games, seven by two runs or less, a rough patch that left them somewhat encouraged by their ability to rally from deficits and compete but far more frustrated by their inability to finish teams off.
But one night after blowing a 5-0 fifth-inning lead in a 6-5 loss, the Angels overcame a 4-0 deficit with two-run homers by Tommy La Stella and Kole Calhoun in the fifth inning and David Fletcher's two-out, two-run single in the sixth, which made it 6-4.
The Angels then blew the game open with a six-run seventh, a rally highlighted by Andrelton Simmons' RBI single and Fletcher's three-run triple, a fly ball he sliced down the right-field line to give him a career-high five RBIs.
"That was very much needed," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said before the Angels embarked on their overnight flight to Kansas City. "The energy has been really good in the clubhouse, in the dugout. Guys have had their spirits up.
"But in the first half of the game tonight, I sensed we were a little down. Then we put some runs on the board, and it picked up right where it's been."
Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, who entered with a 3-0 record and 1.59 ERA in six career starts against the Angels, allowed two hits in four shutout innings before faltering in the fifth.
Jonathan Lucroy singled and La Stella lined his team-leading seventh homer of the season over the wall in right-center to make it 4-2. Luis Rengifo, making his major league debut, singled to center for his first big-league hit, and Calhoun smoked his sixth homer to right for a 4-4 tie.
"Tommy is definitely showing more power," Ausmus said. "I couldn't tell you if it's a conscious effort to drive the ball more, if he's just squaring up the ball better, if it's something he's done with the hitting coaches ... I really couldn't pin it down for you, but he's been really good for us."
La Stella, a former Chicago Cubs utility player, had never hit more than five homers in a season. He now has one more homer than Mike Trout.