Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Recap: Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3

Michael Pineda tossed six innings of two-run ball and the Yankees rallied for three big runs in the bottom of the eighth Wednesday as they snuck past the Blue Jays, 4-3, in an Opening Week thriller at Yankee Stadium.

Pineda's Quality Start: Pineda held the Blue Jays' bats to just six hits in six frames, limiting them to two runs while striking out six swinging. He escaped a men-on-the-corners jam in the third with punch-outs of Russell Martin and Jose Bautista, and likely wouldn't have allowed a run in the sixth had Stephen Drew fielded a ball cleanly.

Comeback: Down 3-1 and desperate for offense in the eighth, the Yankees had Chris Young pinch-hit for Didi Gregorius to lead-off the inning -- a move that resulted in a clutch bloop double down the right field line to finally build some momentum. Jacoby Ellsbury then singled Young to third before Brett Gardner got hit on the arm -- setting up a Brett Cecil wild pitch, another HBP of Brian McCann, and a seeing-eye single from Chase Headley to put the Yankees ahead.

Trouble with the Knuckleball: The Yankees mustered just one run in 6 1/3 innings against Toronto's R.A. Dickey, who -- despite entering five three-ball counts to the first 11 hitters he faced -- managed to walk just three on the night. That trip around the bases came following an Ellsbury single and stolen base in the fifth, when Carlos Beltran lined one to center for an RBI sac fly.

Betances Struggles: Dellin Betances walked two and surrendered a single in this one's top of the eighth, giving up an unearned run with one out after an inaccurate snap throw to first by McCann. Betances had induced a routine groundout to begin the inning, but lost control from there as the Blue Jays extended their advantage.

Miller Time (the Pitcher, not the Beer): Andrew Miller made his Yankees debut in the ninth, retiring three straight Blue Jays on just 11 pitches to record his second career save. He struck out one when Devon Travis waved at a 1-2 offering, and finished the job moments later with a grounder from Jose Reyes.

Next Up: CC Sabathia will make his first start of the season Thursday when the Yankees and Blue Jays wrap up this series at 7:05 p.m. ET -- a matchup in which left-handed rookie Daniel Norris is expected to pitch for the visitors. It will be Sabathia's first outing versus the Jays since his six-inning, four-run performance last April at the Rogers Centre, a contest you may remember he won handily. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)