ARLINGTON (Reuters) - New York's Curtis Granderson belted two home runs and pitcher Ivan Nova baffled the Texas Rangers as the Yankees earned a 4-1 win on Friday.
Granderson drove the sixth pitch of the game into the stands to score Derek Jeter, who led off the game with a single, and give the Yankees (18-12) a 2-0 lead.
"Curtis was outstanding with the two home runs, getting us a lead," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. "I always think it's really important to get a young pitcher a lead."
Rangers (17-16) starting pitcher Matt Harrison continued to struggle in the second inning and New York capitalized on his control problems, and on an error by first baseman Chris Davis, to push another run across home plate.
Granderson then hit a solo homer in the seventh to give New York a 4-0 lead.
Nova left the game in the eighth inning after issuing a one-out walk to Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland reached base on an error by Mark Teixeira. Julio Borbon singled off Rafael Soriano to score Napoli.
"We were unlucky today. We hit a lot of balls right at them," said Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. "When you're the way we are right now and that's happening, you're playing against 22 people."
Nova allowed just two singles, struck out one batter and retired the side in order five times in his third win of the season.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Patrick Johnston)