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Yankees 11, Pirates 5: Chris Carter arrives with a pinch-hit home run

The Yankees’ offense pounded the Pirates behind homers from Castro, Carter, and Judge.

New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Yankees haven’t been that great on the road to start their 2017 season, and sending Michael Pineda to the mound in hopes of getting Good Mike again was a big ask. Pineda was okay and the bullpen faltered, but the Pirates faltered...more.

Pineda trudged through five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits to go with six strikeouts. His offense was dormant for a large chunk of that time, making his three runs allowed feel a little worse than they probably realistically were.

As inferior out-dated National League play dictates, the starting pitcher has to go the minute it looks like a rally might happen, and so maybe Pineda lasts longer in a ballpark where actually sane American League rules are in effect, but no one was really sad to see him go. The only sense of danger was needing a few too many outs out of the bullpen.

The Yankees got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when Starlin Castro launched a home run to left field that scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks. That tied the score at 3-3 before Ronald Torreyes doubled home Aaron Judge and Greg Bird with the bases loaded. Pineda would have been credited with the oh-so-very important win if that score had held, but it didn’t.

Joe Girardi turned to Jonathan Holder in relief of Pineda and it did not go well. Holder got just two outs and allowed two runs on two hits in that time. The 5-3 Yankee lead was gone, and so was Holder from the game. Tyler Clippard came on and wasn’t great either, allowing one of Holder’s runners to score. New York got out of the inning with the score tied.

It was in the eighth inning that the Pirates imploded in spectacular fashion. Austin Romine reached on an error with two outs that sent the entire game spiraling out of control for Pittsburgh. Torreyes followed it with a single before Chris Carter arrived on the scene to send a ball out into the bullpen for his first home run as a Yankee. That dinger put the Yankees on top for good.

The scoring in the inning wasn’t over, however. All this happened with two outs. Jacoby Ellsbury reached third on an error by Andrew McCutcheon in the outfield and scored on a wild pitch. Aaron Hicks hit a ground rule double and came home to score on a Chase Headley double before the inning came to an end with the Yankees ahead 10-5.

Not to be outdone, Judge hit the longest home run of his young career so far with a monster dinger that went either 457 or 460 feet, depending on which resource you consult. It went a long way, as Judge dingers have a tendency to do. It was the perfect way to cap off what had been quite an interesting game.

The Yankees will try to secure another series victory tomorrow afternoon against the Pirates at 1:35 pm. Jordan Montgomery gets the start opposite old buddy Ivan Nova.