Pineda flirts with perfect game
You couldn’t start a game better than how Michael Pineda began the Yankees’ 8-1 home-opening win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
The No. 3 starter set down the first 20 batters he faced in order over 6.2 innings and was just seven outs away from the 24th perfect game in MLB history.
Evan Longoria broke things up with two outs in the seventh with a double down the right field line, but Pineda was still fantastic in his second start of the season. He allowed just two hits and one run in 7.2 innings while striking out 11.
The last time a Yankees pitcher threw a no-hitter in April was 100 years ago when George Mogridge delivered the first no-no in Fenway Park history against the Boston Red Sox in 1917.
Sanchez out at least a month
Yankees manager Joe Girardi informed the media after Monday’s game that catcher Gary Sanchez will be out four weeks due to a Grade 1 strain of the muscle behind his right biceps, via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Sanchez initially suffered the injury during the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after fouling off a 97 mph fastball from Kevin Gausman. Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka will fill in for Sanchez during his absence.
Montgomery given fifth starter spot
Girardi also disclosed after Monday’s game that Jordan Montgomery won the No. 5 spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation and will pitch Wednesday against the Rays, via Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Montgomery starred in the minors last year, posting a 14-5 record with a 2.13 ERA between double-A and triple-A ball.
With a chance to make the big club this year, Montgomery impressed in spring training, most notably against the Rays. In a March 23 start, he allowed two runs on three hits over 4.1 innings while striking out eight.
His start on Wednesday will not only give him a chance to replicate those numbers against Tampa Bay, but it will give the Yankees a chance to give Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia an early extra day of rest.