Yanks’ Pineda ejected
BOSTON — Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night.
The right-hander was thrown out in the second inning when plate umpire Gerry Davis found the substance on the right side of Pineda’s neck after Red Sox manager John Farrell asked him to check. Pineda walked from the mound without protest.
Both Pineda and Davis said it was pine tar.
“When it’s that obvious, something has got to be said,” Farrell explained after the game. “Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Pineda and the organization were “embarrassed.”
Pineda (2-2) had nothing on the right side of his neck in a photo of him on the mound in his tough first inning, when four of the first six batters reached on hits. He said he put it on to get a better grip on the ball.
Another photo taken in the second showed a shiny horizontal substance on his upper neck below his right ear. After Pineda struck out the first two batters and had a 1-2 count on Grady Sizemore, Farrell talked to Davis. The umpire went to the mound, looked at the ball then touched the substance on Pineda’s neck with his right index finger. Then he gestured with that same finger, indicating Pineda’s ejection.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi called it “an error in judgment” and a “little bump” and “poor judgment.”
“He had a hard time gripping the baseball. Unknown to us, he put it on and went out there,” Girardi said. “It’s a young kid. I don’t think he’s trying to do anything, cheat. I think he’s just trying to go out there and compete.”
Rule 8.02(b) says a pitcher shall not “have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically.”
“We will talk to the umpires tomorrow and review their report before taking any action,” Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan said.
In recent suspensions of pitchers for pine tar, Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta was penalized eight games in 2012, the Los Angeles Angels’ Brendan Donnelly 10 days in 2005 and St. Louis’ Julian Tavarez 10 days in 2004. The suspensions of Donnelly and Tavarez were cut to eight days after they asked the players’ association to appeal, and Peralta dropped his challenge with no reduction.
In Pineda’s previous start against the Red Sox, a 4-1 Yankees win in New York on April 10, television cameras caught Pineda with what appeared to be sticky pine tar on his hand on a cool night. Farrell didn’t see a photograph of Pineda’s hand until the fourth inning; when Pineda came out to warm up for the fifth, his hand was clean.
Pineda said the dark substance was dirt but it sparked debate about pitchers’ use of sticky substances to get a better grip on cool nights.
On Wednesday, with the game time temperature at 50 degrees, Sizemore started the first with a triple and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s single. With one out, Mike Napoli singled Pedroia to third. After Mike Carp flied to left, A.J. Pierzynski singled up the middle, scoring Pedroia.
After Pineda’s ejection, David Phelps came in and completed the strikeout of Sizemore.
John Lackey (3-2) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks. Koji Uehara struck out three in the ninth in a non-save situation.
The previous time Lackey faced the Yankees he allowed four homers in a 7-2 loss on April 12. On Wednesday, he struck out the side in the third then had two strikeouts in each of the next two innings.
Mike Napoli had three hits and Boston scored two runs in the first and two more in the third. The Yankees scored on Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
SEATTLE — Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Seattle rallied to snap an eight-game losing streak.
Seager homered for his second straight at-bat after being mired in a slump for most of the season.
Seager hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Jarred Cosart, then added the winning shot on the first pitch from Josh Fields (0-1) in the ninth. The five RBIs were a career high.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Martin Perez (4-0) pitched a three-hitter for his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26, helping Texas complete a three-game sweep.
Donnie Murphy homered and Michael Choice scored one run and drove in another for the Rangers, who moved a half-game ahead of Oakland in first place in the AL West with their first sweep of the A’s since August 2011.
WHITE SOX 6
DETROIT — Marcus Semien’s seventh-inning grand slam lifted Chicago over Detroit.
Jose Abreu hit another long home run for the White Sox, but it was Semien’s first career slam that turned around the game. Detroit starter Drew Smyly allowed two runs in six innings, but Evan Reed (0-1) gave up two singles and a walk, and Ian Krol allowed the home run to Semien.
CLEVELAND — Jason Kipnis drove in Nick Swisher with a two-out double in the seventh inning, sending Cleveland past Kansas City.
Kipnis ripped his double off Kelvin Herrera (0-1) into the gap in right-center, deep enough to easily score Swisher, who reached on a two-out single. The Indians tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall’s bloop RBI single.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) finished the seventh and got one out in the eighth. Cody Allen retired two, and John Axford worked the ninth for his AL-leading eighth save.
BLUE JAYS 8
TORONTO — Nelson Cruz hit two of Baltimore’s season-high four home runs and Chris Davis and Matt Wieters also connected fpr the Orioles.
Cruz hit a solo homer off Dustin McGowan in the third and a grand slam off Todd Redmond (0-2) in the fifth, giving him six homers this season and 11 career multihomer games. The slam was his seventh.
Davis hit a solo homer in the first, and Wieters added a solo drive off J.A. Happ in the seventh.
Brett Lawrie hit a three-run homer for Toronto, his second home run in two games. Jose Reyes had a two-run shot and Ryan Goins hit a solo homer, his first this season.
D-BACKS 7, CUBS 5
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs marked Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday in dramatic fashion Wednesday, allowing the Arizona Diamondbacks to rally for five runs in the ninth inning and a 7-5 victory.
After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, Martin Prado hit a two-run single off Pedro Strop (0-2), Miguel Montero had a tying single against James Russell and Aaron Hill followed with a two-run triple off Justin Grimm.
BRAVES 3, MARLINS 1
ATLANTA — Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run double off A.J. Ramos as Atlanta took two of three from Miami and won for the ninth time in 12 games overall. The Marlins are 1-8 on the road.
Braves pitchers struck out 16, giving them 41 strikeouts and five walks — one intentional — in the three-game series. Miami pitchers struck out 37 and walked nine.
GIANTS 12, ROCKIES 10
DENVER — Hector Sanchez hit two of San Francisco’s six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th off Chad Bettis (0-1).
Michael Morse also hit two homers — a solo shot in the second and a three-run homer the following inning — as two Giants hit multiple homers in the same game for the first time since May 25, 2005. Brandon Hicks and Brandon Belt also went deep as the Giants rallied from a 5-1, second-inning deficit.
Jean Machi (4-0) got one out for the win.
METS 3, CARDINALS 2
NEW YORK — Lucas Duda hit a long home run and New York threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to hold off St. Louis.
Jonathon Niese earned his first win of the season, and shortstop Ruben Tejada cut down Matt Carpenter for the second out of the ninth on a strong relay from center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny challenged the call, which was upheld following a replay review.
Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha (2-2) set career highs with 10 strikeouts and five walks in four innings, the shortest of his 14 regular-season starts in the majors.
BREWERS 5, PADRES 2
MILWAUKEE — Jean Segura hit a three-run homer, and Milwaukee broke out of an offensive slumber at home to support Kyle Lohse.
Segura homered for a 4-1 lead in the second. Khris Davis added a solo shot for the Brewers, who have won five of six and are a big league-best 16-6.
Lohse (4-1) allowed five hits and no walks in seven innings. The Brewers had nine hits at Miller Park, where the team had been averaging just two runs and six hits entering the night.
REDS 5, PIRATES 2
PITTSBURGH — Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control and Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game to lead Cincinnati.
NATIONALS 5, ANGELS 4
WASHINGTON — Adam LaRoche’s tiebreaking RBI single off the first pitch from Fernando Salas capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that kept Washington from getting swept.
Los Angeles led 4-1 entering the ninth, and closer Ernesto Frieri (0-2) went in, seeking his third save.
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