Pineiro throws seven strong innings; Angels hold on to beat Yankees, 5-3
Joel Pineiro threw seven superb innings, allowing one run and five hits, striking out seven and walking none, to lead the Angels to a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
The Angels' third win in nine games this season did not come without a scare. Reliever Scot Shields took over for Pineiro to start the eighth inning and allowed the three batters he faced to reach base, Brett Gardner on a walk and Derek Jeter and Nick Johnson on singles. Johnson capped a nine-pitch at-bat with a hit to center that scored Gardner to pull New York within 5-2.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia summoned right-hander Kevin Jepsen, whose wild pitch advanced runners to second and third. Mark Teixeira grounded out to third, Jeter scoring to make it 5-3.
Jepsen thought he had Alex Rodriguez struck out with a full-count fastball on the outside corner, but umpire Dan Bellino called the pitch a ball, drawing the ire of Scioscia and putting the tying run on base.
But third baseman Brandon Wood fielded Robinson Cano's one-hop smash and threw to second for a force out, and Jepsen struck out Jorge Posada to end the inning.
Fernando Rodney, filling in for injured closer Brian Fuentes, retired the side in order in the ninth for his first save of the season.
The Angels scored their first two runs in the third inning Wood, who entered with an .091 average, singled to left, stole second and came home on Erick Aybar's single to right-center, and Bobby Abreu hit an RBI double to right-center.
The Yankees cut the deficit in half in the fifth when Cano singled, advanced to second and third on a pair of groundouts and scored on Nick Swisher's triple to left-center that made it 2-1. Pineiro got out of the inning by getting Gardner to ground back to the mound.
The Angels then padded their lead with two runs in the sixth, a rally that Torii Hunter sparked with a leadoff double to right-center. Kendry Morales' one-out, RBI double to right-center gave the Angels a 3-1 lead, and Maicer Izturis' two-out RBI single off reliever Alfredo Aceves to center made it 4-1.
The Angels added an insurance run in the seventh when Aybar hit a one-out single o center, took second on Abreu's groundout and scored on Hunter's RBI single to left.
Wood, the Angels third baseman, helped keep Pineiro away from trouble in the sixth when he ranged far into foul territory to catch Teixeira's pop-up before running into the rolled-up tarpaulin for the second out. Pineiro then struck out Rodriguez for the third time in the game to end the inning.
--Mike DiGiovanna in New York
Photo: Joel Pineiro pitches against the Yankees on Wednesday. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA.