Morales struggles as Red Sox lose DH opener
BOSTON (AP) Franklin Morales thinks his two-seam fastball is his best pitch.
It sure didn't look that way on Saturday.
Morales gave up four homers, three on two-seamers, and the Boston Red Sox lost 6-1 to the New York Yankees in the opener of a split doubleheader.
"I was just throwing my pitches and missing," said Morales (1-2), who was charged with six runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. "I missed with my fastball and they hit homers."
Andruw Jones went deep twice as the Yankees improved to 4-0 against the Red Sox this season. Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer in the first, snapping an 0-for-17 slide, and Jayson Nix added a solo drive in the fourth.
The Red Sox have lost five straight and seven of nine, unable to overcome Morales' shaky start.
"He gave up the home runs to home-run hitters in hitters' counts," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.
Swisher sent a 1-0 pitch into the last row of seats above the Green Monster after Derek Jeter opened the game with a single and Robinson Cano was hit by a two-seam fastball with two outs. Jones followed with a drive to the same spot.
"We feel like we've got some serious thump through our lineup and when we can get some pitches to drive and we're not missing them, it's going to make for a great day for us," Swisher said.
The Yankees hit consecutive homers again in the fourth when Jones and Nix each belted one into the Monster seats. It was Jones' 43rd career multihomer game.
"It's one game," Morales said. "I tried to do the best I can. This is going to happen."
New York's Freddy Garcia (3-2) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings under overcast skies, improving to 10-4 in 23 career games against Boston. Jeter had three singles.
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.
Boston's Adrian Gonzalez matched his career-best hitting streak at 17 games with a fourth-inning single.
Cano went 1 for 4 and scored a run, but his streak of games with at least one RBI was snapped at nine. The All-Star slugger equaled Jeter's 2004 surge as the longest by a Yankee since Reggie Jackson went 11 in a row in 1979.
Like the series opener, the Yankees jumped ahead with a big first inning. This time, they used their biggest offensive tool - the home run.
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, striking out seven. ... 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).
Updated July 7, 2012