Andrew McCutchen hit a career-high 23 home runs last season, but the Pirates weren't exactly tickled that his sudden swinging for the fences cost him 27 points off his batting average, lowering it to .259.

So, it might have raised an eyebrow that McCutchen homered in his first at-bat of the Pirates' 10-3 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. It was his second home run in as many games.

"I'm not going for the fences," McCutchen said. "I'm looking for something over the plate, trying to drive it to center field, staying within myself."

Indeed, the entire at-bat was a beauty. McCutchen fell behind New York's terrific youngster Michael Pineda, 1-2. But he worked the count full, then blistered a slider more than 50 feet beyond left field to put the Pirates ahead, 2-0.

"It was a good pitch," Pineda said. "But he's a good hitter."

McCutchen, batting .407, went 2 for 3, later drilling a fastball for a single.