Michael Pineda’s return to the big leagues was all the Yankees could have hoped. Except that it wasn’t a win. For the second time in four days, the Yankees punchless lineup wasted a terrific pitching performance, this time losing to the Blue Jays, 4-0, at Rogers Center. Pineda was terrific. Making his first major-league start since 2011, the big right hander allowed one run and struck out five through six innings. The Blue Jays made some hard contact — three doubles, a few loud outs — but Pineda walked no one, and the only run-scoring hit he allowed was a weak bloop into left field. Pineda’s last fastball was clocked at 95 mph, and that was on his 82nd pitch. Pineda threw strikes, he threw hard, and he pitched well. The game didn’t get out of hand until the eighth when David Phelps allowed two home runs to let the Blue Jays pull away, but it didn’t really matter. The Yankees still have not hit a home run this season, and they went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Joe Girardi argued that the Yankees did tie the game in the third inning when Francisco Cervelli was thrown out on a close play at home, where Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole seemed to stand in front of the plate before he had possession of the ball. Umpires reviewed the play and decided he did not violate the league’s new rule designed to avoid collisions.
Associated Press photos