New York Yankees RHP Michael Pineda continued a strong month of June by pitching six innings of two-run ball, striking out eight batters in a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Since allowing six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings on May 28, Pineda (3-7) has began to turn a corner. He is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts in June, striking out 20 batters in 18 2/3 innings.
"My slider, the last couple of starts, is good," said Pineda, whose 5.88 ERA is his lowest since May 6. "It's way better than the first couple of months. I'm a little more consistent with my slider, and my fastball location, too. It's good."
Pineda, who tied a season high with 114 pitches, allowed one hit through the first three innings before needing to throw 23 pitches in the fourth inning and 25 pitches to get through the fifth.
He allowed three straight singles to start the fourth inning, and Nick Castellanos' sac fly gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Ian Kinsler started the inning with a walk, went first to third on a single and then scored on Victor Martinez's RBI groundout.
"I thought [Pineda] threw a good game," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's the third one, and four out of five, that he's thrown well. He's getting on a roll. I liked what he did today. It's unfortunate we didn't score him any runs, but I thought he pitched well."