Greg Bird broke out of a slump by going 3-for-3 with a home run, Michael Pineda threw seven strong innings and the New York Yankees won their seventh game in a row with a 9-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. >> Read more
Bird, who entered the game with a .038 batting average, was a triple shy of the cycle, hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning after Aaron Judge's home run was overturned on replay to break a 1-1 tie.
Judge went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple. He hit a ball to deep right field off Adam Wainwright (0-3) that deflected off a fan's glove and back onto the field. Umpires reviewed the play and ruled fan interference, resulting in a triple.
Bird also doubled in the fourth inning and singled in the eighth inning.
Aaron Hicks hit a solo home run in the fifth inning that made it 4-1.
Pineda (2-1) struck out six batters and allowed two runs and six hits. He is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA over his last two starts.
The Cardinals brought the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, but Dellin Betances struck out Matt Adams on three pitches.
Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes both hit two-run doubles off Miguel Socolovich as part of a five-run eighth inning to break open the game.
Pineda, coming off arguably the best start of his Yankees career, put together another fine effort Sunday. After Pineda's last effort, the question was how would he follow it up considering his consistency issues. He wasn't as dominant, but he had periods in which he was in absolute control. Pineda shook off a rocky second inning and got into a groove, which ultimately enabled him to get through the seventh inning.
The offense collected 13 hits, but none of them were as important as Bird's three. The Yankees first baseman had looked lost at the plate, heading into the game in a 0-for-20 funk. Bird broke out, destroying a home run, then ripping a double and single into right field.
It's funny how batting skids can end abruptly and a hitter can look so locked in without an inkling it was coming. That's how it went down for Bird, and maybe he can continue to contribute strong at-bats to completely reverse the tough start.
Jordan Montgomery (0-0, 3.86 ERA) and the Yankees begin a three-game series against Derek Holland (1-1, 1.50 ERA) and the Chicago White Sox on Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.