By BEN WALKER AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Robinson Cano paid tribute to Jackie Robinson in fitting fashion by hitting a three-run homer, and the New York Yankees beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on a Tuesday night devoted to honoring victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Cano, whose big league father named him for Robinson, connected on the day when all players, managers, coaches and umpires at Yankee Stadium wore No. 42 to salute the late Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer.
Major League Baseball held Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, the anniversary of the date he broke the color barrier in 1947. The Yankees and Diamondbacks were off Monday.
Mariano Rivera, the last big leaguer still wearing No. 42 on a daily basis, closed for his third save.
The Yankees also remembered Boston, home of their longtime rivals, by playing the Fenway Park favorite “Sweet Caroline” after the third inning. Yankees fans sang along with the Neil Diamond hit as it came over the public-address system, and some people in the crowd wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.
“Thank you NY Yankees for playing `Sweet Caroline’ for the people of Boston,” Diamond wrote on his Twitter page. “You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil (hashtag)OneBoston.”
A ribbon was shown on the scoreboard displaying the insignia of the Red Sox and Yankees and the words: “New York stands with Boston … Pray for Boston.”
There was a pregame moment of silence. A message that read “United We Stand” showing the Red Sox and Yankees logos was posted on an electronic board atop the ballpark.
Earlier in the day, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it was time to “put the baseball teams aside” and recognize “we’re all behind the people in Boston.” Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis, a longtime Red Sox star whose wife has run the Boston Marathon, said his family was “sick to our stomachs” watching news coverage of the bombings.
The Diamondbacks made their first trip to the Bronx since 2007, two years before the new Yankee Stadium opened. Cano’s shot in the fourth helped the Yankees start the unusual portion of their interleague schedule _ they’ll face an NL opponent every month this season.
Ivan Nova (1-1) labored through five innings for the win. Brandon McCarthy (0-2) escaped bases-loaded jams in the first two innings before Cano hit his fourth homer for a 3-2 lead.
Eduardo Nunez added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Arizona took a 2-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Montero and an RBI single by Cody Ross.
NOTES: Cano’s father, Jose Cano, pitched six games for Houston in 1989. … Brittney Griner, picked No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Mercury in this week’s WNBA draft, visited with manager Kirk Gibson and the Diamondbacks around the cage during batting practice. … Injured Yankees SS Derek Jeter had a second straight day of on-field work at the spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., after two off days. Girardi said Jeter isn’t likely to rejoin the team by May 1, once a projected return date. … Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang will make his first start of the season for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night against Syracuse. … There was a pregame moment of silence for former New York Giants football star Pat Summerall.
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