By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) Mark Teixeira hit a two-run single, Brett Gardner added an RBI double 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. Hiroki Kuroda (3-3) labored through six innings to help the Yankees improve to 8-0 in interleague home games against Pittsburgh.
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 in the second game.
With the second game scheduled to begin about 30 minutes after the end of the first, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Derek Jeter would only start the opener. Girardi also said Jacoby Ellsbury would not start in center field both games after sitting out Saturday with flu-like symptoms.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said to expect lineup changes for the finale. His main concern, though, was protecting his bullpen for the second game, and Charlie Morton (0-6) did just that with seven solid innings after a shaky start.
Morton walked Brett Gardner to open the first. Jeter then bunted down the third base line for a hit and Ellsbury was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Teixeira, who homered Saturday. The hot-hitting first baseman lined his single to right-center. McCann followed with a single for a 3-1 lead.
Gardner doubled in the second but Morton settled down after that. He allowed just one baserunner the rest of his outing, and Zoilo Almonte, who singled with two outs in the fourth, was picked off first base – after a replay overturned an original safe call.
Neil Walker homered in the first – his ninth – and added an RBI single in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3. Tony Sanchez homered leading off the fifth.
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 threw 98 pitches in his first win since April 12, a span of six starts. The former Los Angeles Dodger improved to 6-1 against Pittsburgh.
NOTES: Yankees RF Carlos Beltran (right elbow) 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 Pirates’ streak of the leadoff batter reaching in eight straight games ended when Travis Snider struck out looking. … The Pirates recalled RHP Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis as the 26th man for the doubleheader. The Yankees brought up RHP Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Updated May 18, 2014
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