Pineda Puzzles Red Sox, Yankees Take Series Opener • Latino Sports

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Pineda Puzzles Red Sox, Yankees Take Series Opener

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Yankee Stadium, the Bronx (Featured Image: Daniel Budasoff) –  The Boston Red Sox have it made it clear that the American League East no longer belongs solely to the New York Yankees. They put an exclamation mark on it when the Pinstripes failed to make the playoffs last season, while the Red Sox took the World Series.

As far as the 2014 season goes though, the Yankees have one up over their rival, and it began when starting pitcher Michael Pineda went six innings with seven strikeouts and only one earned run in a 4-1 victory over Boston.

Pineda, as fans might recall, was a highly touted rookie for the Seattle Mariners in 2011, when the 6’7” righty from the Dominican Republic struck out 173 batters in 171 innings pitched, compiling a win-loss record of 9-10 on a struggling team.

The Yankees traded one of their top prospects in catcher Jesus Montero, along with pitcher Hector Noesi for Pineda, only to have injuries derail Pineda from getting on the mound until this season.

Making his second start of the season, and his first at Yankee Stadium, Pineda earned his first Major League win since July 30th of 2011 against Tampa Bay amidst some controversy. It was uncertain whether his pitches were marred by dirt or pine tar, to help with his grip on a windy night in the Bronx.

“It’s dirt,” said Pineda. “Between the innings, I’m sweating too much, my hand. I’m putting dirt — I’m grasping the dirt. … I’m not using pine tar.”

The incident was never examined by the umpires officiating the game. “The Red Sox didn’t bring it to our attention, so there’s nothing we can do about it,” umpire crew chief Brian O’Nora said. “If they bring it to our attention, then you’ve got to do something.”

The win snapped an eight start win-less streak for Pineda, whose only mistake was a lead-off home run to begin the top of the seventh inning, as Daniel Nava hurled a 1-0 pitch into right-field for the only Red Sox run of the game.

The Yankees opened up the scoring in the bottom half of the fourth inning, and it began innocently enough with an error by Boston third baseman Jonathan Herrera, enabling former Red Sox center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to reach first safely.

A Brian McCann RBI-single down the right line scored Ellsbury from second base for a 1-0 Yankees lead. Carlos Beltran scored the second run of the inning for the Bombers on a double-play ground-out by Alfonso Soriano, 2-0 New York.

The Bombers added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the first coming off the bat of rookie second baseman Dean Anna, who smoked a 1-1 offering from Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz [0-1] for his first career home run. The Yankees would make it 4-0 three batters later after an RBI-single by Ellsbury through the hole at shortstop scored Derek Jeter from second base.

“Words can’t explain it. Honestly, they really can’t. All the history with these two teams,” said Anna on the experience after having spent his previous six seasons in the minors with San Diego

Buchholz picked up the loss surrendering four runs [two earned] off seven hits in six innings, only his second loss in his last 18 starts since the beginning of 2013. Buchholz is now 5-6 with a 5.12 ERA in his career against the Yankees.

Yankees’ pitcher David Phelps pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Pineda, striking out three batters to earn his first career save.

About Oren Vourman

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