Excellent Pitching and Timely Hitting Combine for a Yankee Victory over Red Sox

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---Michael Pineda made his second start of the year and his first at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. His start on April 5 at Toronto was his first since September 21, 2011. His last victory in the majors came on July 30, 2011. A serious shoulder injury and surgery kept him out of the majors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

In each of his starts this month, Pineda pitched six innings and gave up only one earned run. He was given the loss on April 5 because the Yankees were shut out. The situation was different five days later.

Yankee batters managed more than one hit in only two innings but made those hits count. Jacoby Ellsbury was safe on an error to begin the fourth frame. Carlos Beltran followed with a single to right, his fourth hit in the last two games. Ellsbury scored the first run in the game as the next batter, Brian McCann, broke a 0 for 14 streak with a run batted in single. McCann spoke about the hit, “I found a hole. I really needed that hit.” The second run crossed the plate on a double play on Alfonso Soriano.

The Yanks scored their final two runs in the next inning. With one out, Dean Anna hit his first major league home run. The 27 year-old was acquired from the San Diego Padres in a trade on November 20, 2013. The native of Illinois made his major league debut on April 4. He said, “Words can’t explain it.” He then tried to, “It feels really good to hit a home run at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox. He [Buchholz] threw a change-up [and] I hit it well.”

Asked if he felt like giving up after playing 554 minor league games before reaching the majors, the infielder remarked, “You just have to keep your head down and work, work, work.”

The second run scored that inning was by Derek Jeter, who doubled with two out. Jeter was driven in by a single from Ellsbury, in his first game against his former team. In a pre-game press conference, the new Yankee commented that playing for both the Red Sox and Yankees was “pretty special.”

The only Boston run was scored on a seventh inning lead-off homer by Daniel Nava.

The four runs for the Yankees were more than sufficient for the win because of Yankee pitching. Pineda’s six inning performance was impressive. He gave up one run and four hits, walked two and fanned seven. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was pleased, “He pitched extremely well. He mixed his pitches, location was really good, he had command of the strike zone. We’re glad to have him back.”

David Phelps, the reliever who got the save with an outstanding 2.1 innings on the mound, also praised Pineda, “He [Pineda] did a great job carrying us. He keeps guys off balance.”

Girardi also gave credit to Phelps, “Outstanding performance on his part, got huge outs for us.”

CC Sabathia (Yanks) and Jon Lester (Red Sox) will be the starters of the second contest of the big rivalry on Friday night.