EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 11, 2014

Ellsbury helps Yanks win first game of series vs. Sox

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — NEW YORK (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI single off old roommate Clay Buchholz in his first game against the Red Sox as the New York Yankees beat Boston 4-1 last night.

Ellsbury drew all the pregame attention after switching sides in the offseason.

After spending nine years in the Red Sox organization and winning World Series titles in 2007 and last year, Ellsbury left for a $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees. And his first game put him at the plate against Buchholz (0-1), his roommate at Lowell of the New York-Penn League in their first summer of professional ball.

But it was the dark brown, seemingly tacky substance on the lower palm of Yankees starter Michael Pineda’s pitching hand that quickly became the focus.

Close-up camera shots clearly showed Pineda (1-1) pitching for the first four innings with something on his hand, and there was speculation it was pine tar to help him get a better grip on a chilly night. The game was never stopped for an umpire to exam him, and it was gone by the fifth.

Pineda (1-1), making his first Yankee Stadium start 27 months after he was acquired from Seattle, took a two-hit shutout into the seventh.

He said it was merely dirt, rubbed on his sweaty right hand in-between innings. He said he doesn’t use pine tar.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t see anything on Pineda’s hand.

“I really don’t have anything to say on the subject,” he said.

Buchholz was sharper than in his opening start against Milwaukee, giving up four runs — two earned — and seven hits in six innings with six strikeouts and no walks.