Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - This time, there was no controversy over Michael Pineda's latest impressive start.
The New York Yankees hurler fired six scoreless innings to help the Bronx Bombers complete a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Chicago Cubs with a 2-0 victory in Wednesday's nightcap.
Five days after drawing plenty of attention -- for both his performance and for an apparent foreign substance on his right hand that was caught by television cameras -- when tossing six innings of one-run ball to defeat the Boston Red Sox, Pineda (2-1) held a punchless Chicago offense to four hits and a walk. It was his third straight strong outing since returning to the majors following a two-year absence caused by shoulder problems.
"Really, really good command of his pitches," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi of Pineda. "Wasn't the best conditions to pitch in, but I thought he did a really good job."
The shutout was the second of the day for the Yankees' staff, with Masahiro Tanaka yielding just two singles and fanning 10 over eight frames in New York's 3-0 triumph in the opener.
The Yankees last blanked an opponent in both games of a doubleheader on Apr. 9, 1987, doing so against Kansas City.
Scott Sizemore paced the offense in New York's fourth straight win by going 2- for-3 with an RBI single that scored Alfonso Soriano, who also finished with two hits.
The Cubs, losers of four in a row and shut out in a doubleheader for the first time in 52 years, received a pair of hits from Starlin Castro. Travis Wood (0-2) limited New York to two runs despite permitting 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings.
"They found some holes tonight to put up their two runs," Wood said. "Felt like I made some good pitches, just too many pitches too early. I wasn't able to go deep enough in the ball game."
Pineda began the contest by retiring 11 of the first 13 Chicago hitters and didn't encounter any real trouble until the fifth inning, when singles by Castro and Luis Valbuena and a sac bunt put two in scoring position with one out and New York clinging to a 1-0 lead.
The right-hander got of the jam, however, by striking out Ryan Kalish and getting Darwin Barney to fly out harmlessly to center.
Anthony Rizzo tripled with two out in the top of the sixth but was left stranded with Chicago now trailing by two, as Sizemore plated Soriano with a two-out single to left during the Yankees' half of the fifth.
With David Phelps having taken over for Pineda, the Cubs threatened once more in the seventh but again couldn't come up with the big hit. Castro led off the inning with a single and Valbuena drew a walk before the Yankee reliever set down the next three batters.
Chicago did put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth, as Nate Schierholtz came through with a leadoff single off Matt Thornton and Adam Warren walked Valbuena with one out. Warren then threw a wild pitch to advance both after inducing a pop up out of Welington Castillo, but got Kalish to ground out to close out the victory.
Wood worked out of trouble on several occasions early on, with the Yankees stranding five men through three innings of play, but was touched for a run in the fourth. Sizemore singled, took second on a two-out hit by J.R. Murphy and scored the game's initial run on Brett Gardner's sharp single to right.