Thursday, March 13, 2014

By: Gavin Ewbank | Lead Writer

Michael Pineda wasn't as good as he was in his first outing against the Detroit Tigers, but he was still pretty solid.

Making his first start of the spring, the young right-hander rebounded from a shaky first innings to give up just one hit over his final 1 2/3 innings as part of the Yankees' 6-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles Thursday afternoon in Tampa.

The Yankees' pitching staff was very dominant in this one, piling up 12 strikeouts on the day while giving up just five hits in the shutout effort.

Only half of the Yankees' squad was on hand for this game, with the other half not far away in Clearwater for a match against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pineda gave up back-to-back singles after striking out Quintin Berry to start the game, but he was able to get out of the jam after Steve Pearce flew out to deep left field, chasing Alfonso Soriano, but the runners thought the ball would land so they took off and Henry Urrutia missed second on his way back to first, so the Yankees doubled him up.

The Orioles couldn't do much against him after the first inning, just the one other hit in his third inning of work.

Pineda struck out five of the 11 hitters he faced, and was throwing strike throughout -- 27 of 48 pitches. His offspeed pitches looked sharp, especially his slider. His velocity, however, was not quite there. He was in the 89-90 range, and hit 92 twice, as he continues to build up arm strength.

David Robertson took over for Pineda with two outs in the 3rd inning. He struck out Urrutia on three pitches, and that's where his day ended.

It was the same case for Matt Thornton, who retired the first batter he faced to open the 4th inning, then gave up a single that ended his day. Joe Girardi said during the game on YES that he was only getting in Robertson and Thornton so they could stay loose for the day.

The Yankees' offense was on the money today, picking up 10 hits, double what the Orioles were able to collect.

They started the scoring early when Carlos Beltran ripped a single into right field that scored Brett Gardner from second base, who singled to open the inning. The very next inning, it was Gardner doing the work at the plate following a double from Zoilo Almonte, he sent his own double into left field to double the Yanks' lead to 2-0.

Derek Jeter was the next batter and he tapped a comebacker to the mound and Bud Norris, trying to get Gardner out at third, threw to ball into left field, letting Gardner score.

Gardner was 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of runs scored, and Almonte also collected two hits in three at-bats.

Adding each run one at a time, Alfonso Soriano singled home Brian McCann in the 5th inning on a soft floater into center field, making it a 4-0 game.

The Yankees would stay up by four runs until the 8th when they tacked on two more thanks to a single by Adonis Garcia, and a double-play groundout Jose Gil, letting Corban Joseph score from third.

The Yankees' bullpen was impressive once again. After Robertson and Thornton, Bruce Billings tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit ball, striking out three. Chris Leroux has been very impressive as a non-roster invitee this spring, and he continued that Thursday with two perfect innings. And Cesar Cabral closed out the game with a scoreless 9th.

While most of the team will fly out to Panama tomorrow, the other half will stay in Tampa to host the Minnesota Twins at 1:05pm ET. David Phelps will be on the mound for the Yankees.


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