The Yankees (17-10) evened their series with the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre with their 6-3 win on Tuesday night. The Yankees have now gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and their 11 wins in away games are the most in all of baseball. The Yankees were led in this game by Michael Pineda, Alex Rodriguez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira.
Pineda’s eight innings pitched ended up being his longest start while playing for the Yankees. He is now 4-0 after recording six strikeouts and only allowing five hits in his eight innings. Pineda had a rare walk to leadoff the third when he allowed a free pass on Ezequiel Carrera. The Blue Jays had runners on second and third two outs after a Russell Martin double, but Pineda was able to get the dangerous Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to left.
Pineda now has 38 strikeouts and three walks in his 38.1 innings pitched, which is an outstanding strikeout to walk ratio. He got better as the game went on, threw with a faster tempo starting in the fifth inning and his slider got better the more he threw it. After allowing one or more hits in each of the first three innings, Pineda retired 14 of the next 16 batters that he faced.
He retired the side in order in the eighth inning after getting three infield groundouts. This was a key performance by Pineda because he was able to pitch deep into the game while at the same time giving the bullpen a rest.
“If you throw a lot of strikes and attack hitters you have a chance to go deep in the game,” Pineda said. “I threw a lot of fastballs today.” He is the ace of the staff with Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list.
Joe Girardi should not have had to use closer Andrew Miller in the ninth inning since they had a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but David Carpenter allowed a homer to Russell Martin to leadoff the inning, and then walked Kevin Pillar, and then Chris Colabello hit a run scoring ground-rule double and Ryan Goins’s single scored Colabello.
Carpenter was not able to locate his pitches in the 9th inning. His ERA is now a high 5.23 and he also allowed three earned runs on April 15 against the Baltimore Orioles. Those were the only two games that he has allowed anyone to score, but he has walked too many batters (3) while not recording enough strikeouts (5). Carpenter deserves more time to prove himself because he was one of the best set up men in all of baseball in 2013, but he needs to turn it around soon.
Andrew Miller came in with two outs in the 9th, and he would record his 11th save in his 11 chances. He has 23 strikeouts in only 13.2 innings pitched, which is continuing the prolific strikeout total that he had last season.
In the first inning, it only took three batters for the Yankees to score two runs as Alex Rodriguez’s double scored Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. That was A-Rod’s 524th double, which moved him one spot ahead of Willie Mays and tied him for 43rd on the all-time list with Ken Griffey Jr.
In the second inning, Ellsbury singled to left to score Gregorio Petit to make the score 3-0. Ellsbury is one of the hottest hitters in the American League as he went 3-5 with two runs scored and an RBI on Tuesday night and is on an eight-game hitting streak. His .358 average is tied for second in the AL, and he has a .514 average (18-35) with seven runs scored, seven steals and five multi-hit games during his hitting streak.
In the fifth, Mark Teixeira’s 433-foot homer to right center scored Ellsbury and gave the Yankees all the runs that they would need. It was his 373rd lifetime homer and that homer tied Carlos Beltran for fourth on the all-time switch hitters list. Teixeira said that he hopes he and Beltran can keep going back and forth in the rankings in the next few years.
Even though Teixeira has a low .205 batting average, his 10 homers and 22 RBIs are both very impressive. HIs 10 homers are tied for second and his RBI total is tied for fourth in the AL. “When you are on first base you are in scoring position as of now,” Ellsbury said in reference to Teixeira.
The starters in this series for the Yankees, Chase Whitley and Pineda, have thrown 15 shutout innings in 15 innings pitched. They have recorded a combined 12 strikeouts and only one walk.
CC Sabathia will look to keep the momentum going on Wednesday night. In his last start, he was able to limit the powerful Red Sox lineup to only two runs in six innings pitched.