Pineda flirts with perfect game bid and Yankees pile on five runs late in 8-1 win in home opener

The New York Yankees opened 2017 at Yankee Stadium with a solid 8-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The team once again had an offensive outburst in the late innings this time with five runs in the eighth. Starlin Castro hit a home run, Chris Carter tripled and Matt Holliday doubled all in the eighth inning as the team cruised to their second straight win. The story of this game was Michael Pineda's run at a perfect game, which had broken up on an Evan Longoria double with two outs in the seventh inning. His outing helped spark the offense in an exciting home opener.
Photo Credit: John Munson 

Overall, Pineda impressed going 7.2 innings giving up two hits and one earned run. The 28-year-old righty has shown flashes of this kind of dominance, and he put his potential on full display this afternoon. He was throwing first pitch strikes all afternoon en route to his 11 strikeouts. The performance dropped his ERA to 3.97 with the team hoping for something similar to this in future starts. Pineda did give up a home run to Logan Morrison before exiting the game.

The Yankee lineup also left a mark with hits from everyone but Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes. Headley, Holliday and Judge all had multiple hits with Headley and Judge hitting solo home runs. New York had trouble scoring runs to start the season but have busted out of their funk with two consecutive days of multi-run innings late in games.

The Yankees got on the board in the third inning with an RBI double from Jacoby Ellsbury scoring a a speedy Brett Gardner from first. The table setters have done their job a week into the season. The Yankees would pick up their second run on an Aaron Judge solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. They would then score a third run on a Chase Headley laser beam home run into the short porch to put the Yankees up 3-0.

Working with a stellar outing, Pineda allowed his only blemish of the afternoon giving up a solo home run to Logan Morrison before exiting in the eighth inning. That would be the only Rays run of the afternoon. 

Heading into the bottom of the eighth with Aroldis Chapman warming due to the Yankees 3-1 lead, the Yankees picked up a valuable insurance run on a Matt Holliday double into the left centerfield gap scoring Gardner. This hit forced Alex Cobb out of the game, who was replaced by Austin Pruitt.
Photo Credit: John Munson
Chris Carter then laid into a ball hitting a triple off the top of the left centerfield wall scoring Holliday to give the Yankees a commanding 5-1 lead. The ensuing hitter, Castro, hit his first homer of the season into the first row of the right centerfield seats.  Ronald Torreyes then drove in his team-leading eighth run on an RBI groundout with the bases loaded to put the Yankees up 8-1. Chasen Shreve recorded a perfect ninth inning to give the Yankees a victory.

The Yankees will be off tomorrow and back at it against the Rays on Wednesday afternoon, a 1:05 PM ET start time.

Winning Pitcher: Michael Pineda (1-1, 3.97 ERA): 7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 1 HR
Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1, 3.46 ERA): 7.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR

Aaron Judge: 2-4, HR (2), R, RBI
Chase Headley: 2-3, HR (2), R, RBI, BB
Matt Holliday: 2-4, R, RBI
Brett Gardner: 1-5, 2 R, 2 SB
Starlin Castro: 1-4, HR (1), 2 RBI, R
Logan Morrison: 1-3, HR (2), RBI, R
Austin Pruitt: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Article by: Anthony J. Merced and Chad Raines


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