NEW YORK (AP) Michael Pineda won while pitching with some substance smudged on his hand as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 Thursday night.
New Yankees star Jacoby Ellsbury drew all the pregame attention after switching sides during the offseason. But it was the dark brown, seemingly tacky substance on the lower palm of Pineda’s pitching hand that quickly became the focus.
Close-up camera shots clearly showed Pineda (1-1) pitching for the first four innings with something on his hand, and there was speculation it was pine tar to help him get a better grip on a chilly night. The game was never stopped for an umpire to examine him, and it was gone by the fifth.
Pineda said it was merely dirt, rubbed on his sweaty right hand. Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he found out about it only after Pineda’s hand was cleaned up.
Pineda (1-1) took a two-hit shutout into the seventh. He allowed four hits in his first Yankees’ win, struck out seven and walked two.
Ellsbury scored in the fourth and singled in the fifth off Buchholz (0-1).
WHITE SOX 7, INDIANS 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Rookie Jose Abreu connected for his second multihomer game in three days and the Chicago White Sox ended a 14-game losing streak against Cleveland.
Abreu hit tape-measure drives in the second and fifth innings and drove in three runs. The Cuban slugger hit the first two homers of his major league career Tuesday in Colorado.
Abreu has four homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games.
Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in three runs for Chicago. The Indians had outscored the White Sox 102-45 in a streak that dated to last June.
John Danks (1-0) overcame a rocky start. Indians starter Danny Salazar (0-1) struck out 10 in 3 2-3 innings, but also gave up five runs and six hits.
ASTROS 6, BLUE JAYS 4
TORONTO (AP) – Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar homered off R.A. Dickey and the Houston Astros avoided a three-game sweep by beating Toronto.
Dallas Keuchel (1-1) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. Anthony Bass got his first save.
Villar hit a three-run homer, Grossman had a two-run shot and Jason Castro added a solo drive.
The Astros prepared to face Dickey (1-2) and his knucklers by taking swings in an indoor cage before the game against former major league knuckleballer Steve Sparks, now a Houston radio announcer.
ATHLETICS 6, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Dan Straily pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and Sam Fuld hit a rare home run to help the Oakland Athletics complete a three-game sweep over Minnesota.
Straily (1-1) gave up one run and struck out five. The Athletics have gone nine straight games to start the season without their starter allowing more than three runs.
Fuld hit just his sixth homer in 738 career plate appearances and singled. Josh Donaldson also hit a two-run homer.
Mike Pelfrey (0-2) gave up six runs on nine hits and four walks in five innings.
Brian Dozier hit his third home run of the season for Minnesota.