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.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.