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Morton struggles early, Pirates lose to Yanks 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm •  Published: May 18, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Charlie Morton gave up one hit after the second inning. The first five batters he faced, though, spoiled his day.

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run single in the first, Brett Gardner added an RBI double in the second and the New York Yankees held on for a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday in the opener of a single-admission doubleheader.

Brian McCann had an RBI single and New York scored all its runs in the first two innings on five hits after belting five homers in a 7-1 victory Saturday.

Morton started off by walking Gardner, and it got worse. Derek Jeter bunted safely down the third base line and Morton hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a pitch to load the bases for Teixeira, who homered Saturday. This time, the hot-hitting first baseman lined a single to right-center. McCann followed with a single for a 3-1 lead.

"I backed myself in a corner and they took advantage," Morton said.

Neil Walker homered off Hiroki Kuroda in the top of the first but New York went ahead 4-1 on Gardner's one-out double in the second. After that, Morton (0-6) faced the minimum through the seventh.

The Pirates scored three runs for Morton after giving him only three runs of support in his previous four starts. He gave up six hits and walked one with six strikeouts.

Kuroda (3-3) labored through six innings to help the Yankees improve to 8-0 in interleague home games against Pittsburgh. He won for the first time since April 12 against Boston. He was 0-2 with three no-decisions during that stretch.

"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.

New York will try for its third three-game sweep of the Pirates, along with 2005 and '07, in the finale of the first traditional twinbill at Yankee Stadium since 2004. Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole faces Vidal Nuno.

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