Yankees Hit 5 Homers in 7-1 Over Pirates
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer, Zoilo Almonte connected in his first start of the season and the New York Yankees went deep five times Saturday for a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano also homered off a struggling Edinson Volquez to back five scoreless innings from David Phelps (1-0). Brian McCann added a two-run drive in the eighth against reliever Vin Mazzaro as New York won for only the second time in its past eight home games.
Coming off consecutive road shutouts against the crosstown rival Mets, the Yankees took their third straight following a four-game slide.
Starling Marte homered and had three hits in his return to the starting lineup for the Pirates, winless at Yankee Stadium since Harvey Haddix pitched them to a 5-2 victory in Game 5 of the 1960 World Series.
Volquez (1-4) gave up six hits – four homers – and no walks in 6 1-3 innings, dropping to 0-4 in his last five starts.
The streaking Teixeira connected on a 1-2 pitch following Derek Jeter’s single in the first for his eighth home run in his last 17 games. Almonte sent Volquez’s first pitch of the third into the raised bleachers in right-center for his second major league homer.
Almonte, called up from the minors Tuesday, was a late addition to the lineup when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched with flu-like symptoms.
Gardner homered leading off the sixth and Soriano did the same in the seventh.
After a rainout Friday night, 47,353 fans turned out on a beautiful afternoon for the Pirates’ first visit to the current Yankee Stadium. They went 0-6 in interleague games at the old place, swept in a June 2005 series and again two years later.
Phelps pitched out of early trouble to earn his first win as a starter since July 4, 2013, at Minnesota. After nine relief appearances to begin the season, the right-hander was making his third start since replacing injured Michael Pineda in the rotation.
Phelps got some help from the overaggressive Pirates, who ran into three outs on the bases. Marte was caught stealing after a leadoff single in the fourth, and Gaby Sanchez was cut down at the plate on a perfect throw from Soriano in right to end the inning.
Tony Sanchez was thrown out by Gardner in center trying to stretch a leadoff single off the wall in the seventh against Dellin Betances, who went two innings.
Pittsburgh nearly made another out on the bases in the fifth when Tony Sanchez appeared to get picked off second, but the call was overturned on replay. With two runners on, Phelps retired Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez in succession.
Alvarez, who grew up a few miles from Yankee Stadium, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game against the Yankees. He left about a dozen tickets for family and friends and was expecting his father to be in the crowd.
Two calls were overturned on replay challenges, one in favor of each team. Both plays involved tags by Jeter at second base.
NOTES: Marte (lower back tightness) made his first start in a week. … 1B Ike Davis, traded by the Mets last month, went 0 for 3 with a walk and three strikeouts in his return to New York. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would be “kind of shocked” if LHP CC Sabathia is able to return after only 15 days on the disabled list. Sabathia had a cortisone and stem cell injection Thursday to treat his injured right knee. He is expected back at the ballpark Sunday and can ditch his crutches Monday. “We don’t know when he’s coming back because there’s not a lot of history with this procedure and how long it takes,” Girardi said. … Pineda (shoulder muscle) is scheduled to throw 25 pitches on the side Sunday. … Ichiro Suzuki (back) entered in RF in the ninth and is likely to play in the traditional doubleheader Sunday – the first single-admission twinbill at Yankee Stadium since 2004. … RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.62 ERA) chose to start the opener Sunday against Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (0-5, 3.22). LHP Vidal Nuno (1-1, 6.43) will pitch the second game against RHP Gerrit Cole (3-3, 3.76), who spurned the Yankees to attend UCLA after they drafted him out of high school.