In the evening portion of today's doubleheader against the Cubs Michael Pineda looked to at least rival Masahiro Tanaka's flawless performance from several hours before. He would be opposed by promising Cubs lefty Travis Wood. The teams both donned the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, so it was obviously a good omen to have an army of Mariano Riveras out on the field. No Jacoby Ellsbury or Brian McCann in the lineup, but Derek Jeter made his return from injury to bolster the fledgling offense.
Things remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Yankees pushed acrossed a run. A clutch two-out Brett Gardner single with runners on first and third scored Scott Sizemore to put the Yankees up by a single tally. They struck again in the fifth with another two-out hit, this time with a single from Sizemore that scored Alfonso Soriano. The scoring output was disappointing considering the number of hits the team was racking up, but the two-out production prevented things from staying scoreless.
David Phelps had another eventful appearance in the seventh and eighth but kept the Cubs at bay while Matt Thornton closed out the inning with the final two outs. Thornton started the ninth but it was Adam Warren who became the latest to fill David Robertson's shoes. After some scares and having the tying runs aboard at second and third, Warren induced a grounder to shortstop to close out the save and preserve the shutout.
Pineda was not quite as impressive as his counterpart Tanaka, but he was able to get the job done as effectively. He was able to work out of a second and third with one out jam in the top of the fifth and a two-out triple in the sixth to maintain the slim advantage. His stuff wasn't as electric as it was in his first two starts, but it was still Pineda's third great performance to start the season and pushed his ERA to a sparkling 1.00. Not too shabby for a guy who was on the shelf for two straight seasons. The offense scuttled away a lot of opportunities, only turning twelve hits into two runs, so they should thank Pineda and the bullpen for bailing them out.
With the sweep of the doubleheader the Yankees now sit atop the American League East. They will hop on a plane tonight and travel to Tampa Bay to open a four game series with the Rays. CC Sabathia and David Price will kick things off at 7:10 PM.