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Pineda dominant in win over Red Sox

Right-hander takes step toward securing rotation spot with impressive outing
03/18/2014 4:50 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano drills a three-run homer in Tuesday's win.(AP)
Michael Pineda pitched into the fifth inning, Alfonso Soriano drove in four runs, and the Yankees evaded a bee delay en route to buzzing past the Red Sox, 8-1, at Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday.

Making his third start of the spring, Pineda threw exactly 60 pitches over 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits while striking out five. He had been set for four innings or 60 pitches, but with such a low total after four, Joe Girardi left him out for the fifth; he allowed a David Ross double before retiring Brandon Snyder on a pop-up to close his day, and during the at-bat, Girardi - on headset with the YES Network broadcast booth - praised how far Pineda has come this spring.

On the offensive side, the Yankees jumped on Felix Doubront early and often, getting on the board thanks to Soriano's two-on, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first.

They tacked on four in the second inning, with the first five batters reaching. Brian Roberts singled to lead it off, and after Kelly Johnson walked, Ichiro slapped a single to center field to score Roberts and make it 2-0. Brett Gardner then reached on a bunt single to load the bases, Jeter smacked an RBI single to make it 3-0, and two batters later, Mark Teixeira hit a two-run single to left to make it 5-0.

Then, the bees came.

With Francisco Cervelli at the plate leading off the bottom of the third, play was stopped for several minutes as a swarm of bees invaded left field, chasing Red Sox left fielder Mike Carp and most of the team's bullpen fleeing. Once play was resumed, Cervelli hit a triple - ironically, off the very same left field wall that had moments ago been swarmed - but Doubront struck out Roberts and Johnson and got Ichiro to ground out to end the inning.

Doubront wasn't so lucky in the fourth, however. He erased a Gardner single by getting Derek Jeter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but then gave up a double to Carlos Beltran before walking Teixeira to end his day; that wasn't the end of the lefty's line, though, as reliever Brandon Workman surrendered a three-run homer to Soriano to make it 8-0, two of those runs charged to Doubront.

The Yankees had just one hit the rest of the way, but by then the damage was done.

From the bullpen, David Robertson came on after Pineda and allowed a single to put runners on the corners with one out, but he struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonny Gomes in succession to escape the jam. Shawn Kelley then pitched a perfect sixth before the Sox got one run off David Herndon in the seventh, but Fred Lewis and Matt Daley each worked around a hit in pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.

Offensively, Soriano was the star, going 2-for-4 with the homer and four RBI, and Gardner was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Cervelli and Roberts were each 2-for-3 - with Cervelli's day lifting his spring average to .500 - and Jeter, Beltran, Teixeira, Ichiro, and Zelous Wheeler (who doubled in the eighth for the Yanks' only late-inning hit) had the rest of the team's 14 hits.

With the win, the Yankees improve to 11-9-2 in the Grapefruit League and 12-9-2 on the spring overall. Wednesday begins a two-game mini-road trip for the team, as they'll head to Lake Buena Vista and send Ivan Nova to the mound for a 1 p.m. battle with the Braves.

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