ANAHEIM, Calif. - Through five innings Tuesday night Ivan Nova frustrated the Angels, giving them plenty of opportunities then yanking them away.
But two big swings by Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar in the sixth changed everything, the back-to-back homers sending the Yankees to a third straight loss, this one a 2-1 setback in front of 42,036 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
It was the third straight game in which the Yankees (41-37), who managed just two hits, and none after the third inning, scored one run.
They may have also lost, though the extent of the injury wasn't clear, rightfielder Carlos Beltran, who appeared to hurt himself on a swing during an at-bat in the fifth, replaced a half-inning later in right by Garrett Jones.
Nova stranded six through five innings, holding the Angels (41-37) to 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position before Pujols led off the sixth with his 24th homer of the season and 13th of the month to tie it at 1. Aybar then smoked his second homer of the season to make it 2-1.
Nova, who threw 61/3 scoreless innings in his first start of the season last week against the Phillies, allowed two runs and eight hits over 51/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Angels lefty Andrew Heaney, the organization's top pitching prospect called up June 24 and making his second start, allowed one run and two hits over seven innings. The one run came on Mark Teixeira's 19th homer of the season, in the second, that made it 1-0.
Joe Smith pitched a scoreless eighth, getting Stephen Drew to ground into a double play after Didi Gregorius reached on an error with one out, and Huston Street pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.
Nova worked out of trouble in the first. Kole Calhoun singled with one out and Mike Trout, who homered Monday night and also robbed the Yankees of three extra-base hits with terrific running catches in center, punched a single to right to put runners at the corners. But Nova struck out Pujols on three pitches and got Aybar to ground out.
Teixeira put the Yanks ahead in the second, leading off by driving a 1-and-1, 92-mph fastball out to left-center to make it 1-0.
Nova navigated his way out of another jam in the second. David Freese and Matt Joyce led off the inning with singles. Nova struck out C.J. Cron and got Chris Iannetta to fly to right but walked leadoff man Johnny Giavotella to load the bases. Nova got Kole Calhoun to ground out to end the inning.
Nova struck out two in the fourth, his first clean inning, but faced another jam in the fifth. He walked Iannetta, the No. 9 hitter, and Giavotella laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved him to second. Calhoun flew to left and Nova took care of Trout as the centerfielder bounced to third to end the inning.
Pujols came out swinging in the sixth, driving a first-pitch 92-mph fastball into the bushes in center to tie it at 1. The blast gave Pujols 16 homers and 32 RBIs in his last 31 games.
Aybar came next and drove a 1-and-0 fastball, which also came in at 92-mph, into nearly the same spot for his second homer of the season that made it 2-1.
The Yankees tried to get something going against Heaney in the seventh. Teixeira walked, bringing McCann to the plate. The catcher sent a liner back up the middle but it deflected off Heaney's glove and right to third baseman David Freese, the start of a 1-5-6-3 double play.