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Question of the Day
TORONTO (AP) - R.A. Dickey couldn’t control his knuckleball in his first start of the season.
But the former Cy Young winner found a groove with his floating pitch on Saturday.
“The knuckleball was electric and his command of it was really good,” catcher Josh Thole said.
Dickey (1-1) allowed six runs, five hits and matched a career-worst with six walks in his season-opening start at Tampa Bay last Monday. He turned that around with 6 2-3 scoreless innings against the Yankees, walking one and striking out six.
“He had it working today,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “The other day in Tampa it wasn’t on. Today it was on. This was a big game for us, we needed to bounce back, he stepped up.”
Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner, said improved velocity was the key to his strong start.
“My velocities were a lot better this time through than they were in Tampa,” he said. “It’s nice to get over that against a very good ball club in the AL East.”
Aaron Loup got one out and Brett Cecil two before Sergio Santos worked the final 1 1-3 innings for his second save in as many chances.
Right-hander Michael Pineda (0-1) made his first major league start in pinstripes since he was acquired in a January 2012 trade with Seattle. Pineda hurt his shoulder that spring and underwent season-ending surgery in May. He was activated off the disabled list in July 2013 and finished the season with Triple-A Scranton.
Starting for the first time since September 2011, Pineda gave up five hits in six innings, walked none and struck out five. The right-hander threw 83 pitches, 58 strikes, and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
“He was great,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “His fastball was excellent, his slider was really good.”
Girardi was less pleased with a play at home plate in the third inning that saw the Yankees denied a run.
With New York trailing 1-0, Francisco Cervelli hit a leadoff double and tried to score on Jacoby Ellsbury’s two-out single to center. Colby Rasmus made a one-hop throw to the plate, where Thole tagged Cervelli to end the inning.
After Girardi came out to argue, crew chief Dana DeMuth, the plate umpire, reviewed whether Thole had blocked the plate and whether Cervelli has beaten the tag. DeMuth upheld both decisions.
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