BOSTON (AP) — This is one powerful group of Bronx Bombers.
Andruw Jones hit two of New York’s four homers, Freddy Garcia pitched 6 2-3 solid innings in muggy conditions and the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-1 in the opener of a split doubleheader on Saturday.
Nick Swisher belted a three-run shot in the first and Jayson Nix added a solo drive in the fourth as the Yankees improved to 4-0 against the Red Sox this season. Swisher snapped an 0-for-17 slide with his 13th homer.
“It’s crazy, man. Like I’ve always said, this team’s designed to hit home runs,” Swisher said. “That’s kind of our thing.”
New York ran its baseball-best home run total to 130 and is on a pace for a club-record 254. The 1997 Seattle Mariners hold the major league record with 264.
Each of the four homers in Game 1 came against Franklin Morales (1-2).
“Yeah, his fastball kept moving in over the middle of the plate to right-handed hitters. He couldn’t control it,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He gave up the home runs to home-run hitters in hitters’ counts.”
Derek Jeter had three singles for New York, which won its third straight.
The Red Sox have lost five in a row and seven of nine.
The Yankees, who improved their major league-best record to 51-32, came into the day hitting just .232 with runners in scoring position. But they got plenty of offense in the doubleheader opener, boosted by a pair of consecutive homers.
Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez matched his career-best hitting streak at 17 games with a fourth-inning single.
All-Star slugger Robinson Cano went 1 for 4 and scored a run for New York, but his streak of games with at least one RBI was snapped at nine. He equaled Jeter’s 2004 surge as the longest by a Yankee since Reggie Jackson went 11 in a row in 1979.
Morales lasted just 3 1-3 innings, yielding six runs and six hits.
“I was just throwing my pitches and missing,” he said. “I missed with my fastball and they hit homers.”
Like the series opener, the Yankees jumped ahead with a big first inning. This time, they used their biggest offensive tool — the home run.
Swisher sent a 1-0 pitch into the last row of seats above the Green Monster after Jeter opened the game with a single and Cano was hit by a pitch with two outs. Jones followed with a drive to the same spot.
Garcia (3-2) gave up one run and six hits under overcast skies, improving to 10-4 in 23 career games against Boston.
“I just think how he was able to shut the lineup down.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Look how explosive they were last night. He gave up one run in 6 2-3. He did an amazing job, he used all his pitches.”
The Yankees hit consecutive homers again in the fourth when Jones and Nix each one into the Monster seats. It was Jones’ 43rd career multihomer game.
“It’s nice. Get a lead early, four or five runs, just got out go out there and shut it down,” Garcia said. “And that’s what I did.”
Mauro Gomez had an RBI single in the fourth for Boston.
On Friday, New York scored five first-inning runs in a 10-8 victory. Boston tied it with five in the bottom half before the Yankees rallied in the seventh.
NOTES: New York has hit 29 homers in its last 16 games. … Valentine said LF Carl Crawford had his rehabilitation assignment halted briefly because he suffered a mild strained groin rounding second on a triple for Double-A Portland on Thursday. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day DL since June 20 with esophagitis, which led to the erosion of his esophagus and associated gastrointestinal bleeding, will make a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and Valentine said if it goes well he’ll start in the first series after the All-Star break. … Cano was hit on the right hand by Morales in the first, had his pinkie taped, but stayed in the game. … Justin Germano pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings for Boston. … The doubleheader opener was to make up an April 22 rainout. … Phil Hughes (9-6) was scheduled to pitch the nightcap against Boston’s Felix Doubront (8-4).
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