Mar 23, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) in the dugout between innings pitching against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Defeat Yankees In Michael Pineda’s Return


Michael Pineda was impressive in his first Yankees start as he went six innings while allowing only one run on five hits and no walks. He also struck out five Blue Jays. Though it was a great outing, it wasn’t enough to prevent Pineda from picking up the loss.

One thing Pineda did today that he wasn’t able to do in the Spring is throw hard and maintain his velocity throughout the game. His fastball topped out at 95 MPH and he was able to reach that speed in his sixth and final inning, which has to be very encouraging for the Yankees as he has struggled with his velocity in the past.

The Blue Jays scored their first run in the second inning when Adam Lind led off with a double and Josh Thole dunked a single into left field to drive him in.

The Yankees bats took a step backwards as they were shut down by knuckleballer RA Dickey, who went 6.2 innings, allowing no runs, five hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Their best chances to score came in the second and eighth innings. In the second, with Francisco Cervelli on second base and two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center field but Colby Rasmus made an amazing throw to Thole, who tagged Cervelli out to end the inning. The play was reviewed, as whether or not Thole blocked home plate was in question, but the play was upheld.

In the eighth inning, the Yankees had Ellsbury on third base and Derek Jeter on second with two outs, but a strikeout by Alfonso Soriano ended the threat.

The only Yankees position players to have a good day at the plate were Ellsbury (3-5), Cervelli (2-3), and Yangervis Solarte (2-3).

The Blue Jays effectively ended the game in the bottom of the eight inning when Melky Cabrera hit a solo home run off of David Phelps to make it 2-0 Toronto. They would add two more on a home run by Jose Bautista two batters later.

Though this wasn’t the outcome the Yankees had hoped for, they should be encouraged by what they saw from Pineda.

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