NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon McCarthy earned his first win for the Yankees with an impressive debut in pinstripes, and Brett Gardner drove in three runs from the leadoff spot to send New York past the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Saturday.
Carlos Beltran homered, Kelly Johnson hit a two-run single and the Yankees ended Alfredo Simon’s six-game winning streak in the right-hander’s first outing since the All-Star game.
New York won the first two in a three-game interleague series, leaving Cincinnati with five straight losses on the road.
Acquired from Arizona in a July 6 trade, McCarthy (1-0) struck out nine and walked none over six innings in his second start for the Yankees and first at home. He threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes, improving to 3-0 in his last four outings after winning only once in his initial 16 starts this season.
The right-hander was 3-10 with a 4.80 ERA for the Diamondbacks before New York obtained him to upgrade a rotation depleted by injuries to four starters. His first outing for the Yankees was a no-decision July 9 at Cleveland.
A converted reliever, the surprising Simon (12-4) is tied for the big league lead in wins — but he was betrayed Saturday by a Reds defense that entered with the highest fielding percentage and fewest errors in the majors.
The right-hander allowed four runs — two earned — and five hits in five innings, the first time he failed to finish six innings since going 3 2-3 in a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium on May 27. He went 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA in his next eight starts.
Chris Heisey homered for the Reds, struggling to mount much offense this weekend without injured boppers Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton finished for the Yankees, who struck out 13.
Simon hung an 0-2 curve in the second to Beltran, who drove it to right for his 10th home run. Beltran has four hits and two RBIs in two games since being coming off the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday.
Right fielder Jay Bruce dropped Brian Roberts’ leadoff fly for a two-base error in the third, and Gardner singled through a drawn-in infield to make it 2-0.
Heisey homered in the fifth and Donald Lutz followed with a double, but McCarthy struck out Kristopher Negron before Roberts made a sliding stop and quick throw on Billy Hamilton’s inning-ending grounder to second.
The bottom of the batting order got the Yankees started in their half of the fifth. Roberts and Johnson singled, and both advanced on Devin Mesoraco’s passed ball as Gardner missed a bunt attempt.
Gardner hit a sacrifice fly, and Derek Jeter’s single made it 4-1. Jeter also singled in the All-Star game Tuesday night against Simon, who threw a scoreless third inning.
New York loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Brian McCann, Beltran and Roberts. Johnson grounded a two-run single just inside first base, and Gardner followed with another sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Simon fell to 0-3 in seven games, including four starts, against the Yankees. … McCarthy entered 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance against Cincinnati. … Before the game, Reds 3B Todd Frazier and President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty gave Jeter framed jerseys autographed by the club’s two captains, Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin. Jeter also was presented with three photos taken June 3, 2003, the day he was named the 11th Yankees captain while the team was in Cincinnati. … Looking to avoid a three-game sweep, Cincinnati sends another All-Star to the mound Sunday when RHP Johnny Cueto (10-6, 2.13 ERA) faces Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 4.10). … New York improved to 19-12 in day games, while the Reds dropped to 22-14.