Franklin Morales knocked around as Yankees take first game of doubleheader

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The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 10-8 last night without hitting a home run, just their second win this season without a homer, but they put on another power display this afternoon.

Franklin Morales was knocked around for six runs over just 3 1/3 innings as a Bombers cruised to a 6-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader.

Morales gave up four runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run by Nick Swisher and a solo shot by Andruw Jones. He served up back-to-back homers to Jones and Jayson Nix to begin the fourth inning and was pulled two batters later. The 25-year-old southpaw had allowed just four earned runs over 18 innings in his previous three starts and entered today’s action with a 2.51 ERA overall. It went up to 3.50 with the clunker, though he still has a good chance to keep a rotation spot even after Clay Buchholz returns from the disabled list.

Freddy Garcia was excellent against a weak Boston lineup, allowing one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking a pair. The only run scored when Mauro Gomez, who was filling in for third baseman Will Middlebrooks, delivered an RBI single in the fourth. CC Sabathia is expected to return from the disabled list after the All-Star break, so the Yankees will have to decide whether Garcia or David Phelps will remain in the rotation. Phelps gave up one run over 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Wednesday while striking out eight.

The Yankees have won each of their first four games against the Red Sox this season. They’ll look to stay undefeated when Phil Hughes squares off against Felix Doubront in the nightcap.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.