Derek Jeter only hurried his throw by an instant, and his fifth-inning error was far from a decisive blow.
Jeter knows better than anybody that New York can't afford any such mistakes when the postseason starts in three weeks.
Pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis drove home pinch-runner Jeremy Moore with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, and Los Angeles rallied to send New York to its third straight defeat.
Rookie Jesus Montero hit his third career homer for the AL-leading Yankees, who lost a game on each side of the continent in the past two days. The mini-slump is highly unlikely to affect their postseason hopes, but Jeter doesn't want to see any symptoms of a bigger sickness.
"I could have taken another step, but even without another step, it's a play that needs to be made," said Jeter, who had an eighth-inning single. "You can't give a team extra outs. If I don't throw that ball away and (Colon) gets out of it, it's a different ballgame. I put him in trouble."
New York, which lost an extra-inning game at Baltimore on Thursday, missed a chance to increase its 2½-game lead on the Boston Red Sox, who lost to Tampa Bay 7-2 earlier in the day.
Jered Weaver struck out 11 Yankees during eight innings of three-hit ball, but the Los Angeles ace left without a victory when his teammates couldn't solve Colon, who yielded six hits and an unearned run in seven resilient innings.
"We had our opportunities, but they just played better tonight," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. "We never really were able to get something together."
Izturis' drive to center easily scored Moore for the Angels' 10th win of the season on their final swing.
"We battled it out, and Izzy was able to get that sac fly at the end to win it," Weaver said.
Weaver had his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season, allowing just one runner to reach second base. His teammates' meager run support left him without a win for the sixth time in eight starts.
"It was good to be able to bounce back against a lineup like that," Weaver said. "Those guys can hit a bunch of homers and put some balls in play, so to have a good one like this brought the confidence level back up."
Colon matched Weaver for the Yankees, stranding seven Los Angeles runners along the way, but the 38-year-old is still winless in his last seven starts.
"My sinker was working really, really good," Colon said through a translator. "I feel like I did at the beginning of the season. My command was really good today."
Eight days after Montero's major league debut — and four days after hitting his first two homers in the same game against Baltimore — the prized Venezuelan prospect led off the third inning with a long drive over the bullpens in left field. The prospective catcher is off to an impressive start as a designated hitter, with seven hits in his first six games.
The Yankees played without right fielder Nick Swisher, who felt pain in his throwing arm during Thursday's game in Baltimore. Andruw Jones went 0 for 2 with a walk in place of Swisher, who hopes to return to the lineup this weekend after being examined by doctors.
New York also rested catcher Francisco Cervelli, who acknowledged dizziness after a collision with Baltimore's Nick Markakis on Thursday. Cervelli was in the Yankees' original lineup Friday, but was replaced by Russell Martin a few hours before the first pitch.
NOTES: Former Yankees manager Joe Torre attended the game, speaking with Jeter in the dugout beforehand. Torre kept his residence in Los Angeles after leaving the Dodgers last year. ... CC Sabathia faces Dan Haren in a pitching showdown Saturday. Sabathia is going for his 20th victory for the second straight season, while Haren is looking for his 15th win. ... Reggie Jackson threw out the first pitch. Mr. October played five seasons with the California Angels during the 1980s, making three All-Star teams after leaving New York, where he also spent five seasons. Jackson is a special adviser to the Yankees, but the Hall of Famer wore a red Angels jacket while receiving a big ovation from the Anaheim crowd.