McCann’s two home runs fuel Yankees past Red Sox in 7-4 victory

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In the first 11 games of the season, the Yankees had seven home runs. Today they had five home runs, including two from Brian McCann who was struggling, going 1-for-17 coming into this game. The five home runs plus Hiroki Kuroda‘s effective outing led the Yankees to a 7-4 victory at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

The Yankees needed to take Game 3 of the 4 game set, and they turned to Kuroda to do so. Kuroda went 6.1 innings giving up four runs (two of the runs were given up on a two-run single by Matt Thornton), on four hits while striking out five. Dellin Betances pitched to a batter in the seventh, retiring him, Adam Warren pitched a scoreless eighth and Shawn Kelley pitched a scoreless ninth, earning his second save of the season.

All seven of the Yankees runs were scored via the home run ball; Carlos Beltran hit a two-run shot in the first, Brian McCann hit two solo home runs; one in the fourth and one in the sixth, Alfonso Soriano hit a home run in the fourth and Kelly Johnson hit one in the eighth. The Yankees now have 12 home runs in their first 12 games of the season.

What’s Next?

Ivan Nova will take the mound as the Yankees attempt to take the series three games to one. Felix Doubront will take the mound for the Boston Red Sox who aim to even the series. The game will start at 8:05 p.m. and will air on more

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Derek Jeter has scheduled day off

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If you were hoping to see Derek Jeter and today was the only game you were going to this season, then you’d be out of luck–Jeter is sitting out.

Manager Joe Girardi understands fans want to see Jeter in his final season, but he also has to focus on Jeter’s health and well being.

“I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,” said Girardi, who placed Dean Anna at shortstop for today’s afternoon game. “I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”

Girardi was also asked if there was a chance Jeter could get in later in the game, but the chances didn’t seem likely.

“Then you start to run out of infielders and that sounds like to me it is for a farewell tour,” Girardi said. “It is not the last week of the season. These games are obviously very important to us. They are important today, tomorrow, the next month, I have to manage that. I’m sorry if people came to see him today. I have to be smart about it.”

Girardi admits he’s a bit torn at the moment with trying to please the fans and trying to keep Jeter healthy, but in order for the fans to see Jeter, Girardi would have to manage how he plays him.

There is not a whole lot I can do about that,” Girardi said. “When you start running guys out there too much, you risk injury. I think people would be a little bit more upset if he were out two weeks or a month or something like that. I understand that fans want to see him play. I want to see him play. I would like more

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Sabathia implodes in the sixth as Yanks fall to Red Sox 4-2

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For the first five innings, CC Sabathia was cruising along and it seemed he was the CC of old. Unfortunately, he imploded in the sixth inning, giving up four runs as the Yankees fell to the Red Sox 4-2 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

CC Sabathia went seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out nine. In the sixth inning, Jonny Gomes tied the game at one, only for Grady Sizemore to deliver the big blow for the Red Sox in the same inning, hitting a three run home run into the left field seats. Cesar Cabral walked a batter in the eighth before Adam Warren retired three straight batters. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless ninth inning while striking out the side.

The Yankees didn’t have many opportunities off Red Sox starter Jon Lester except for a home run by Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the second and a RBI single by Kelly Johnson in the seventh.

What’s Next?

Hiroki Kuroda will take the ball for the Yankees as they attempt to take a 2-1 lead in the series. John Lackey will make the start for the Boston Red Sox. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will air on the YES more

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MLB will not suspend Pineda but will talk to Yankees

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Well, it looks like the Michael Pineda pine tar story has one final chapter before we can put the story to rest.

Joe Torre (who is the vice president of baseball), spoke to Brian Cashman and the Yankees earlier today regarding the pine tar issue from last night. Torre said Pineda will not be suspended and considers the matter a non-issue, especially after the Red Sox deemed it a non-issue last night. Here was Torre’s statement:

“The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox.  Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”

Joe Girardi spoke to Michael Pineda earlier today, but it wasn’t about whether or not he used pine tar.

“I don’t talk to pitchers about that, like, ‘Do you use or don’t you use?’ ” Girardi said. “I mean, this is not a recreational drug. So I don’t talk to people about that. I’m aware. I’ve been on teams where I’ve seen it. I’m 99 percent sure that I know of guys on other teams that use it, and I just haven’t said anything. So will we talk to Michael? If we did, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”

However, Girardi is questioning a rule change and may even want some clarification as to when it would be acceptable for players to use pine tar.

“The way we’re addressing rules now, I think we could address that and get some clarity on it,” Girardi said. “It would probably be helpful.”

Some Notes

Mark Teixeira is expected back in the Yankees lineup on May 1st, but more

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Controversy clouds last nights Yankees victory

Michael Pineda

There’s no denying Michael Pineda pitched a brilliant game against the Boston Red Sox last night and he surely deserved the win, but Pineda’s performance was overshadowed by one glaring topic: what was on Pineda’s hand during his outing?

It was brought to the attention of viewers and social media in the third inning by Red Sox T.V. station NESN.  Red Sox manager John Farrell said he didn’t notice anything until the fifth inning but by then Pineda’s hand didn’t have the substance. Joe Girardi was asked about it during last night’s press conference and it appeared he knew what the substance was. He was asked if he knew Pineda had the substance on his wrist but all Girardi said was he never saw it.

“I never saw it,” Girardi said. “There’s nothing really for me to talk about.”

It was then brought to the attention of Michael Pineda following his start and Pineda said it was simply dirt.

“I don’t use pine tar,” Pineda said. “It’s dirt. I’m sweating on my hand too much in between innings. … I usually put the dirt between innings when my hand gets sweaty.”

It would seem like a controversial topic, but if you asked inside the Red Sox clubhouse, many of the players defended Pineda’s use of pine tar, ranging from David Ortiz to Dustin Pedroia.

I thought he was great.” Pedroia said,  “Like I said, I have pine tar on my bat. That’s a non-issue. I thought he was better than us tonight. … I didn’t see it. I thought he had great stuff. His heater was good, his slider; we were a little late on his fastball, and out in front of his offspeed, so more

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Pineda strikes out seven in 4-1 win over Red Sox

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The Yankees needed a dominant outing from Michael Pineda to snap a two game skid, and they got one as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Pineda earned his first win since 2011, going six innings while giving up one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. With the bullpen depleted from yesterday’s outing, Joe Girardi had to rely on Cesar Cabral and David Phelps to finish the game–and neither of them disappointed. Cabral went two-thirds of an inning striking out both men he faced while David Phelps pitched a two and a third inning save with three strikeouts. The last pitcher to pitch more than two and a third innings and still get the save was Adam Warren last season against the Cleveland Indians where he went four innings.

It was a pitchers duel between Pineda and Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz until the fourth inning when Brian McCann hit an RBI single to snap a 0-for his last-14 skid to plate former Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury. In the same inning, Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play but Carlos Beltran scored from third on the play. In the fifth inning, Dean Anna hit his first home run of his Major League career in the right field seats while Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI single later in the inning to plate Derek Jeter for the fourth and final run.

– Speaking of Jeter, he has a five game hitting streak after this game. more

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Audio: McCann discusses home plate collision rule confusion

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Yankees catcher Brian McCann was interviewed by MLB Network radio earlier today about the new home plate collision rule, and his confusion on what the guidelines for the rule are. Here’s a clip from the radio interview:

Interview courtesy of MLB Radio Network

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Yankees vs. Red Sox pitching matchups

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Thursday, April 10 Yankees: Michael Pineda (0-1, 1.50 ERA) Red Sox: Clay Buchholz (0-1, 12.50 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Buchholz: Brian Roberts (10-for-25, .400 AVG), Francisco Cervelli (3-for-6, .500 AVG), Derek Jeter (6-for-23, .261 AVG).

Who’s Not vs. Buchholz: Brett Gardner (2-for-17, .118 AVG), Kelly Johnson (1-for-10, .100 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (3-for-14, .214 AVG)

Friday, April 11 Yankees: CC Sabathia (1-1, 7.50 ERA) Red Sox: Jon Lester (0-2, 2.51 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Lester: Derek Jeter (21-for-63, .333 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (4-for-13, .308 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (15-for-48, .333 AVG), Francisco Cervelli (2-for-6, .333 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Lester: Brett Gardner (2-for-11, .182 AVG), Kelly Johnson (0-for-12, .000 AVG), Brian Roberts (10-f0r-46, .217 AVG)

Saturday, April 12 Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 2.92 ERA) Red Sox: John Lackey (2-0, 1.38 ERA) Time: 1:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Lackey: Brett Gardner (11-for-31, .355 AVG), Derek Jeter (20-for-68, .294 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (33-for-113, .292 AVG), Brian Roberts (12-for-42, .286 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Lackey: Jacoby Ellsbury (2-for-10, .200 AVG), Carlos Beltran (0-for-10, .000 AVG), Kelly Johnson  (3-f0r-15, .200 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (6-for-38, .158 AVG)

Sunday, April 13 Yankees: Ivan Nova (1-1, 8.68 ERA) Red Sox: Felix Doubront (1-1, 9.00 ERA) Time: 8:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: ESPN/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Doubront: Kelly Johnson (4-for-13, .308 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (3-for-5, .600 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Doubront: Brett Gardner (2-for-12, .167 AVG), Derek Jeter (2-for-14, .143 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (2-for-13, .154 more

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