Yankees Lose 5-3, Split Doubleheader with Pirates
Yangervis Solarte thought he had another big hit when he sent a line drive toward the left field corner. The he saw Josh Harrison take off.
Harrison made a stupendous diving catch to deny Solarte a potential tying hit, helping preserve the Pittsburgh Pirates' first win in the Bronx in 54 years, 5-3 over the New York Yankees on Sunday for a doubleheader split.
"I thought I was going to have a double," Solarte said. "It was a great play, a great catch."
Solarte wasn't the only one on the Yankees left frustrated by Harrison's play in the finale of the first single-admission twinbill at Yankee Stadium since 2004.
Alfredo Aceves (0-2) gave up Harrison's tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning of a loss that snapped New York's four-game winning streak.
"Harrison was a big reason they won the second game today. His defense, his offense really hurt us today. Sol put a great at-bat as well and hit a rocket," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You don't see guys lay out 320 feet away very often, but he did."
Mark Teixeira had a two-run single and Brett Gardner added an RBI double as New York beat Pittsburgh 4-3 in the opener.
Starling Marte hit a two-run homer off Vidal Nuno in the sixth inning of the second game after striking out four times in the opener. Marte, though, left with left hamstring tightness in the seventh inning. Neil Walker and Tony Sanchez homered for Pittsburgh in the opener.
Harrison, who ran into the third out of the fifth inning before a run could cross the plate, moved to left field form third base in place of Marte. With pinch-hitter Derek Jeter on first following a single, Solarte hit a sharp liner to left. Harrison raced to his right and caught it with a fully extended dive toward the line.
"I knew once I left my feet it was in there," Harrison said.
Former Yankees catcher Chris Stewart had two RBIs for the Pirates. Fill-in closer Mark Melancon, who broke into the big leagues with New York, pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
The Pirates had lost all eight games at Yankee Stadium in interleague play. They last beat New York on the road in Game 5 of the 1960 World Series.
"It's just another win," said Pirates starter Gerrit Cole, who grew up a Yankees fan. "We need as many as we can, and the other stuff doesn't matter."
Solarte homered in the sixth to tie it 3-all and also singled.
Cole (4-3), who turned down the Yankees when they drafted him in 2008 to go to UCLA, struck out eight in six sharp innings to help the Pirates snap a three-game skid.
The teams looked as if they lost focus during the 38-minute break between games, coming out for Game 2 in front of a fraction of the 46,858 who attended the opener and making four quick errors. The second game was scheduled as a makeup for Friday night's rainout.
Gardner was picked off third base in the first inning, a warmup for a sloppy second in which both clubs appeared to forget the fundamentals.
Solarte made a throwing error, then Brian Roberts dropped a throw from Solarte on a force attempt to put runners the corners. Stewart had an RBI single but Jose Tabata slowed coming around second with a leg injury and was tagged out trotting into third to end the inning.
The Pirates were worse in the bottom half, allowing New York to score twice with two outs. With Solarte on first, John Ryan Murphy lined a single to right field that skittered through Travis Snider's legs for an error. Snider had replaced Tabata in right field. The Pirates said Tabata had tightness in his right hamstring. Solarte scored and Murphy went to third base.
Brendan Ryan laid down a perfect squeeze to make it 2-1 and went to second on Cole's throwing error. Gardner walked and Cole balked the runners to second and third, but Roberts popped out to second base.
Harrison doubled to left with two outs in the fifth but slipped about halfway to third base and was tagged out in a rundown before Snider could cross home plate.
In the opener, Brian McCann had an RBI single in the first as New York scored all its runs in the first two innings on five hits off Charlie Morton (0-6). After Gardner's RBI double in the second, Morton allowed just one baserunner through seven innings.
Hiroki Kuroda (3-3) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings for his first win since April 12 against Boston.
"As a pitcher, the win is always a good thing," Kuroda said through a translator. "Even though you may not have perfect stuff, to get the win is very encouraging."
David Robertson, the fourth Yankees reliever, got four outs for his eighth save.
NOTES: Yankees RF Carlos Beltran had a second cortisone shot to try to ease the discomfort in his right elbow from a bone spur. He will get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday. Girardi said Beltran had planned on getting the second opinion but Andrews wasn't available sooner. Girardi said Beltran is getting better. ... Girardi also acknowledged that LHP CC Sabathia might need surgery someday on his right knee because the condition is degenerative. Sabathia was returning from a visit to Andrews' office, where he had his knee drained and was given a cortisone shot. ... The Yankees brought up RHP Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the 26th man for the doubleheader.
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