Michael Pineda had a career-high 16 strikeouts as the Yankees beat the Orioles in the series finale

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Sunday afternoon in the series finale as Micael Pineda only allowed one run in seven innings. The Yankees won three out of four games against Baltimore and have won seven of their past 10 games to put them in first place by three games in the AL East with a 20-12 record.

Pineda, whose previous career-high in strikeouts was 10, recorded 16 strikeouts against the Orioles. Pineda is the first pitcher with 16 strikeouts and zero walks in a game since Johan Santana did so on Aug. 19, 2007. Pineda is also the first pitcher in the last 100 years to have 16 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings pitched.

His fastball, changeup and slider were all working to perfection against the Orioles, which helped him to repeatedly keep Baltimore’s hitter guessing at the plate. Between the fourth and sixth innings Pineda was able to strikeout five consecutive hitters.

During his starts this season and last season with the Yankees he has proven to be a No. 1 caliber pitcher. Pineda was named the American League Player of the Week after going 2-0, pitching 15 innings, allowing only one run and one walk, and striking out 22 batters. This was Pineda’s 16th and final strikeout before being taken out of the game.

A couple of (pitches), they were great pitches, right on the corner, right at the knees,” Brian McCann said. “They were perfect pitches. It’s not fun facing him. … He’s a dominant pitcher. He really is. He’s a guy that not many people want to face.”

Pineda had 14 strikeouts in his final minor league start. He was very happy after this start and happy to have dominated on Mother’s Day.

“A really good game in the minor leagues and I’m happy with that,” he said. “But today is the best game. I had more strike ‘em outs than any game I’m pitching. I say thank you God, thank you to the team for giving me this opportunity, and I’m very happy.” He also said that he loves his mom and loves all mothers.

Pineda tied David Cone for most strikeouts by a Yankee right hander in one game. If Pineda continues pitching the way he has been he will be an All-Star for a second time.

The four runs that the Yankees scored against Bud Norris were all they would need to beat the Orioles. Carlos Beltran hit his first homer of the season and ended the game going 2-2 with two walks. He is turning around his season as he has a .313 average with nine RBIs in his last nine games to improve his average to .210.

Beltran is now tied for fourth most RBIs among switch hitters. It is a positive sign that Beltran is breaking out of his slump because he adds another power bat in the middle of the lineup.

Didi Gregorius had what was likely his best offensive game as a Yankee as he was 2-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. He drove in his first run in the fourth and his second in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury’s double to deep left scored Stephen Drew and Gregorius and Brian McCann’s homer in the fifth was his fourth of the season. McCann said that Pineda is a very difficult pitcher to hit with the pitches that he has.

The Yankees will now play four games against the second place Tampa Bay Rays (17-15) Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Tonight
LHP CC Sabathia (0-5, 5.45)
vs.
RHP Alex Colome (2-0, 1.80)
7:10 p.m., YES Network

Tuesday
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-0, 3.97)
vs.
RHP Chris Archer (3-4, 2.59)
7:10 p.m., YES Network

Wednesday
RHP Adam Warren (2-1, 4.65)
vs.
RHP Nathan Karns (2-1, 3.79)
7:10 p.m., YES Network

Thursday
RHP Chase Whitley (1-1, 3.06)
vs.
TBA
7:10 p.m., YES Network

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