ANAHEIM -- The Yankees have had more than their share of recent struggles here, but two players who used to call Angel Stadium home helped their current team to both a rare series win and a successful end to a long road trip Sunday.
Mark Teixeira hit two home runs -- his 17th and 18th this season -- and Bartolo Colon picked up his fourth win as the Yankees finished a nine-game West Coast swing with a 5-3 victory over the Angels. After starting with two consecutive losses to the Mariners, the Yankees won six of their final seven games in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim.
"Going in, would I have predicted we'd go 6-3? I would have felt pretty good about that," manager Joe Girardi said after the game. "But after being 0-2, not so much."
Teixeira hit a solo shot in the third and a two-run blast in the fifth to account for three of the Yankees' four runs off Angels starter Joel Pineiro. With the homers, Teixeira passed teammate Curtis Granderson and is now second in the Majors. Toronto's Jose Bautista has 20.
"I'm just trying to be aggressive," Teixeira said. "When I get a pitch to drive, I try not to miss it. A lot of times I do. But I'd love to keep this thing rolling.
With the win, the Yankees (33-24) are now a season-high nine games over .500 after taking a road series against the Angels for only the second time in 10 tries since 2005. They are still only 12-25 -- including a 2-4 postseason mark -- at Angel Stadium during that stretch. The other series win came in September 2009.
"Coming out here and winning is a lot harder than it looks," said David Robertson, who wriggled out of yet another jam in relief.
Colon (4-3), coming off a shutout in Oakland, said through an interpreter that he had trouble with his grip on his two-seam fastballs. He allowed three runs and made way for Robertson after allowing a one-out double in the sixth. His teammate then turned in a typical Robertson outing. With the score 4-3, he induced a fielder's choice before issuing back-to-back walks to load the bases. Robertson recovered to strike out Maicer Izturis. The righty, who also recorded an out in the seventh, now has 38 strikeouts and 18 walks in 23 1/3 innings this season.
"D-Rob's been doing it all year long," said Nick Swisher, who added a home run off the top of the right-field foul pole in the eighth. "That kid doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves. It boggles my mind."
"I didn't have my best stuff today," Robertson said. "I really didn't want to walk a couple of guys. I really just wanted to find a way to get the outs. I had to work real hard, and I was real fortunate to get out of that situation."
A rested Joba Chamberlain followed him in relief. He threw 35 pitches in a 1 2/3-inning outing, stranding runners on first and third in the seventh and getting an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Mariano Rivera picked up his 16th save, also with the help of the double play.
"There's a lot of days you feel great and you're blowing fastballs by people," Chamberlain said. "But these are the times you have to pitch. You have to rely on your command and your catcher and your defense."
Teixeira and Colon both played on Angels playoff teams, though not at the same time. Teixeira had 13 homers in 54 games as a trade-deadline acquisition in 2008. Colon won 46 games for the Angels from 2004-07, taking home the 2005 Cy Young Award in the process.
"I felt really good," Colon said. "It's another game, that we win. I am playing for the Yankees now, and I'm happy to have helped the team win."
After a sluggish start in the power department, Swisher is finally helping the team with the long ball. The right fielder hit 29 home runs in each of his first two seasons with the Yankees and how has five this season -- three on this road trip.
"I haven't even thought about it, which is crazy," Swisher said of his power outage. "I'm so much better when I don't try. I think sometimes, when you do try too much, things do go south. I've been really working on the mental side of the game and trying to scratch and claw my way out of there."
Brett Gardner had a broken-bat RBI double in the second inning for the first Yankees run, and Derek Jeter added career hit No. 2,986 with a third-inning single. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter passed Sam Rice and is now in 28th place on the all-time list. He'll have a chance to move closer to No. 3,000 on Tuesday, when the Yankees open a three-game series against Boston and a 10-game homestand.
"It's big for a lot of reasons," Teixeira said of the strong finish to the road trip. "We want some momentum going into the off-day and then the series against Boston. Playing a team that we haven't played that well against over the years is always big. And then you have a five-hour flight home -- it's good to have a win under your belt."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.