Eleven games into the season, the Yankees' revamped offense hadn't done much.
"We have to hit, too,'' Francisco Cervelli said in defense of CC Sabathia late Friday night after a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox.
And the Yankees did Saturday, led by a new offensive piece imported during the offseason who had been off to a poor start.
Brian McCann smacked two of the five homers hit by the Yankees in a 7-4 victory over the Red Sox in front of a sellout crowd of 48,572 at the Stadium.
"I just felt it was a matter of time," Joe Girardi said.
McCann, who signed a five-year, $85-million deal in the offseason, entered the game hitting .162 with a .184 on-base percentage and a .162 slugging percentage, those numbers made worse by a 1-for-16 start to the current homestand.
But McCann took John Lackey deep twice -- a blast into the second deck in rightfield on Lackey's first pitch of the fourth inning, which broke a 2-2 tie, and a two-run homer into the Yankees' bullpen in the sixth, which made it 6-2.
He acknowledged that his first homers as a Yankee felt good, especially hitting them in a stadium that many see as a perfect fit for his lefthanded swing, but said he wasn't close to panicking about a slow start.
"It's baseball. If it wasn't so early in the season, it wouldn't be that big of a deal because there's probably going to be four or five of them [slumps] during the course of 162 games," said McCann, who also threw out a potential base-stealer to escape a seventh-inning jam. "When it's early, everything's magnified. So yeah, you want to get off to a hot start, but at the same time, we're a week and a half into this thing."
Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano -- who is 10-for-24 with three home runs after a 0-for-17 start -- and Kelly Johnson also homered for the Yankees (6-6). The trio, along with McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte, had two hits each.
"I think that's what we're capable of," McCann said. "We have a deep lineup that gets on base. We're capable of big innings."
Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86), the most underpublicized of the Yankees' starters, battled command issues most of the day. He was charged with four runs and allowed six hits and three walks in 61/3 innings.
The 39-year-old took a 6-2 lead into the seventh but sandwiched two walks around a strikeout. Girardi brought on lefthander Matt Thornton to face David Ortiz, 11-for-20 in his career against Kuroda. Thornton struck out Ortiz looking at a 96-mph fastball but grazed Mike Napoli's jersey to load the bases.
With the shift on against the lefthanded-hitting Mike Carp, he punched a ground-ball single where the shortstop would have been in a normal infield alignment, driving in two runs to make it 6-4. Girardi called on righty Dellin Betances to face Xander Bogaerts, but McCann threw out Carp trying to steal to end the inning.
"I wish I could have completed that inning," Kuroda said. "It was a little frustrating."
Kuroda earned the victory because of his offense, yes, but also because of a bullpen that continues to pitch well without closer David Robertson, who is on the disabled list.
Adam Warren struck out two of three in a perfect eighth and Shawn Kelley, Robertson's replacement, pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
Kelley took the mound with a 7-4 lead after Johnson's solo homer off Burke Badenhop in the eighth. His drive landed on the net protecting Monument Park just to the right of dead centerfield.
"It's always good when the guys are swinging the bat," Beltran said. "McCann today, it was good to see him hit the ball hard. He's been hitting the ball but right at people and nothing to show for it. Today he found a few holes."