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Morales allows 4 HRs as Red Sox lose to Yankees

Baseball is a sport of repetition — unfortunately so, for Franklin Morales.

Morales became the first pitcher in 75 years to give up four home runs to the New York Yankees twice in one season, allowing Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Derek Jeter to go deep in Boston's 6-4 loss Friday night.

"When you miss a pitch with that team, somebody (is) going to pay," he said.

Morales (3-4), who gave up five runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings, also allowed four home runs against the Yankees on July 7. No one had done that twice in a year since Ted Lyons of the Chicago White Sox in 1937. But Morales has given up just three homers to other clubs.

"Other than the home runs, he had pretty good stuff," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.

Swisher also homered off Clayton Mortensen in the seventh. Fourth-place Boston, heading toward its third straight playoff-less season, dropped 13½ games behind the Yankees in the AL East with 42 to play. The Red Sox are 3-7 against the Yankees this year and have not won consecutive games since Aug. 5-6.

Swisher homered in the first, and Granderson and Martin connected during a three-pitch span in the second, just before a bolt of lightning flashed beyond center field and thunder cracked.

"The way the game started, man, it's raining, two teams battling it up and the field's getting all nasty — it just felt like a Yankee-Red Sox rivalry game," Swisher said.

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who turned 29, hit a three-run homer in the third for a 4-3 lead — all the runs were unearned because Phil Hughes (12-10) threw away Scott Podsednik's comebacker trying for a double-play grounder. Pedro Ciriaco's grounder drove in Boston's first run.

Pedroia nearly tied it in the eighth against David Robertson. With a runner on, Granderson ran down Pedroia's drive just in front of the wall in left-center, the deepest part of the ballpark.

"It was too much for Dustin to combat. He almost did," Valentine said. "I thought that was going to go. There was just enough breeze to keep it in the park. He hit it a ton."

Jeter tied it at in the fifth with his 250th home run. He joined Willie Mays as the only players with 3,000 hits, 250 homers, 300 steals and 1,200 RBIs.

"I always see all the time: He doesn't hit home runs. Blah, blah, blah," Jeter said. "I think it's a lot. I'll take it."

New York went ahead in the sixth. One-out singles by Casey McGehee and Granderson chased Morales, and Nix's two-out single off Mortensen put New York ahead 5-4.

"We let Hughes off the hook. We had him on the ropes earlier: 77 pitches in four," Valentine said. "Hit some balls real early in the count and got him back in the game."

Hughes had a curious outing, retiring 19 of 21 batters not counting the third inning. Throwing more changeups than he had in any four-five starts combined the rest of the year, he allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one.

Robertson followed, and Rafael Soriano finished for his 30th save in 32 chances, completing a five-hitter.

Boston just couldn't overcome Morales' mistakes.

"The pitches were up a little bit," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "The first inning, I think he was just getting used to the mound a little bit and trying to get comfortable. It's tough to throw a lot of pitches when it's wet and you're slipping everywhere, but, after that, he settled down, started throwing the ball well, trying to keep it down. In all, it was a pretty good game, though."

NOTES: Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront, out since Aug. 9 because of a right knee issue, threw off a mound in a session of about 45 pitches. He is to have another mound session and might pitch in a game next week. ... Valentine said David Ortiz, on the DL since July 18 because of a strained right Achillies tendon, won't play this weekend. ... In addition to Lyons, the only other pitcher to allow four homers to the Yankees twice in a season was George Earnshaw of the 1932 Philadelphia Athletics, according to STATS LLC and the SABR home run log.