CINCINNATI (AP) - The Yankees didn't know much about Chris Heisey heading into an interleague series. Sure do now.
The young leadoff hitter homered three times, getting Cincinnati's slumping lineup going, and Johnny Cueto allowed only two hits in seven innings Wednesday night, leading the Reds to a 10-2 win and a doubleheader split with New York.
In the opener, Jorge Posada ended the second-longest homer drought of his career with a two-run shot, sending the Yankees to a 4-2 win.
Heisey started the second game with his first career leadoff homer. He also had two-run shots off Brian Gordon (0-1) and Hector Noesi in his first multihomer game.
``I know they have high hopes for this kid,' manager Joe Girardi said. ``We haven't seen a lot of him, so we don't know a lot about him.'
After Heisey homered for the third time in the eighth inning, teammates made him take a curtain call. The capacity crowd then chanted his name when he went back out to left field.
He became the third Reds player to homer three times in the leadoff spot, joining Pete Rose and Jay Bruce.
Cueto (5-2) gave up Nick Swisher's solo homer and Alex Rodriguez's single. The right-hander pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the seventh, retiring Posada on a groundout to preserve a 4-1 lead.
Cueto has given up only four runs in four June starts. He was scratched from a start Monday in the series opener because of a sore neck. He stretched it sideways as he walked off the field after fanning Rodriguez in the first inning, an indication it was still bothering him a bit.
Couldn't tell by his pitching. He retired 12 straight batters over one stretch, putting the Reds in line for only their second victory in nine interleague games.
Gordon had problems in one of the majors' most homer-friendly ballparks.
The 32-year-old journeyman left the Phillies' farm system last week to sign with the Yankees, who need help for their depleted rotation. He impressed in his first start, giving up two runs in 5 1-3 innings of a win over Texas.
The second time wasn't so good.
``I'm definitely a little disappointed in the outcome,' Gordon said. ``I made three mistakes and paid for all three of them.
``It is deflating. I try not to make a habit of making mistakes. Sometimes you get away with some. Tonight that wasn't the case.'
Gordon showed Heisey his two best pitches leading off the first inning, throwing a 69 mph curve followed by a 90 mph fastball. Heisey then connected on a sloppy, cut fastball. Gordon gave up five hits - three of them homers - and four runs in five innings.
``He had one good start and one so-so start,' Girardi said. ``Obviously he's getting the opportunity because we've got people hurt. He just made some mistakes, but his mistakes were big mistakes.'
Despite the loss, the Yankees remain on their best surge of the season, winning 10 of their last 13. They won the first game without Rodriguez or first baseman Mark Teixeira in the starting lineup. Posada played first base and made the difference.
Posada's tiebreaking homer off Mike Leake (6-4) ended his stretch of 126 at_bats without one. His last homer was April 23.
It's not like he was counting the days.
``I don't know when was the last time I hit one, but I wasn't trying to hit one,' Posada said. ``They happen for me. I don't care when they do happen. I'm happy they are, but I'm not going out trying to hit a home run.'
Freddy Garcia (6-6) gave up two unearned runs in seven innings. Yankees third baseman Ramiro Pena committed three errors, including two in the fifth inning that gave the Reds two unearned runs.
Garcia allowed three hits in seven innings while improving to 22-10 in 39 career interleague starts. The right-hander is 4-0 in four career starts against the Reds, all of them in Cincinnati and all of them for a different team. He played for the Mariners, the White Sox and the Phillies in the first three.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 22 tries. He has a record 66 career saves in interleague games, including 22 straight since 2006.
Notes: Yankees SS Derek Jeter (strained calf) threw for the second straight day at New York's spring training complex in Tampa. ... New York INF Eric Chavez (broken left foot) could run the bases in the next couple days. He's taking batting practice and fielding in Tampa. ... Posada's longest homerless stretch was 140 at_bats in 2002-03, according to research by the Eiias Sports Bureau for the Yankees. ... RHP Jeff Marquez went on the DL between games with a sore shoulder. RHP Buddy Carlyle was called up by New York. ... The Reds activated RHP reliever Sam LeCure off 15-day DL and optioned LHP starter Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville.
The Associated Press News Service
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