NEW YORK (AP) — By the time Brandon McCarthy threw his 100th pitch — and it was still only the fourth inning — he clearly was lost once again.
The Diamondbacks’ newcomer struggled for the third straight start, giving up a three-run homer to Robinson Cano that sent the Yankees to a 4-2 win Tuesday night.
“Just completely out of sync. I was not able to do a whole lot,” McCarthy said. “Not a great pitch to Cano, makes that outing worse. Too many pitches, too many balls.”
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“I don’t know what it was. I couldn’t get right,” he said.
Signed to a $15.5 million, two-year contract, McCarthy (0-2) exited the game with a 7.47 ERA on the season. The Cardinals and Pirates tagged him in his previous two starts, his first since coming back from a line drive to the head last September that required brain surgery and ended his season with the Athletics.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said McCarthy “threw better tonight.”
“He threw some good pitches. The one he threw to Cano didn’t have much at all. Got to a 3-2 count, ball didn’t move as much.”
McCarthy gave up nine hits and two walks, throwing 102 pitches overall.
“That’s the Yankee team,” Gibson said. “They get two strikes and foul off a lot of pitches.”
The Diamondbacks made their first trip to the Bronx since 2007, two years before the new Yankee Stadium opened. Arizona lost all three games at the old Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series but came back to win the championship at home in Game 7.
Cano’s shot in the fourth helped the Yankees start the unusual portion of their interleague schedule — they’ll face an NL opponent every month this season.
Cano paid tribute to Jackie Robinson in fitting fashion with his go-ahead homer, and the Yankees won on a day also devoted to honoring victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Cano, whose big league father named him for Robinson, connected as all players, managers, coaches and umpires at Yankee Stadium wore No. 42 to salute the late Brooklyn Dodgers legend and Hall of Famer.
Major League Baseball held Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, the anniversary of the date he broke the color barrier in 1947, but the Yankees and Diamondbacks were off.
Mariano Rivera, the last big leaguer still wearing No. 42 on a daily basis, closed for his third save.
The Yankees also remembered Boston, home of their longtime rivals, by playing the Fenway Park favorite “Sweet Caroline” after the third inning. Several other teams followed suit. Yankees fans sang along with the Neil Diamond hit as it came over the public-address system, and some people in the crowd wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.
“Thank you NY Yankees for playing ‘Sweet Caroline’ for the people of Boston,” Diamond wrote on his Twitter page. “You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil (hashtag)OneBoston.”
A ribbon was shown on the scoreboard displaying the insignia of the Red Sox and Yankees and the words: “New York stands with Boston … Pray for Boston.”
There was a pregame moment of silence. A message that read “United We Stand” showing the Red Sox and Yankees logos was posted on an electronic board atop the ballpark.
Earlier in the day, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it was time to “put the baseball teams aside” and recognize “we’re all behind the people in Boston.” Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis, a longtime Red Sox star whose wife has run the Boston Marathon, said his family was “sick to our stomachs” watching news coverage of the bombings.
Ivan Nova (1-1) labored through five innings for the win. McCarthy escaped bases-loaded jams in the first two innings before Cano hit his fourth homer.
Eduardo Nunez added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Diamondbacks took a 2-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Montero and an RBI single by Cody Ross. NOTES: A.J. Pollock doubled twice for the D-backs. … Cano’s father, Jose Cano, pitched six games for Houston Astros in 1989. … Brittney Griner, picked No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Mercury in this week’s WNBA draft, visited with Gibson and the Diamondbacks around the cage during batting practice.