Michael Pineda took a perfect game into the seventh inning as the Yankees beat the Rays, 8-1, during their home opener on Monday. >> Click here for a full box score.
Pineda lost his perfect game bid when Evan Longoria ripped a hanging slider down the left field line for a double with two outs in the seventh inning.
Pineda, who allowed one run on two hits while walking none and striking out 11, was removed with two outs in the eighth inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury opened the scoring for the Yankees with an RBI double in the third inning, and Aaron Judge's home run to left field in the fourth increased New York's lead to 2-0. Chase Headley's homer in the seventh made it 3-0, Yankees.
Logan Morrison's homer in the top of the eighth cut the lead to 3-1, but the Yankees tacked on five runs in the bottom of the frame to take control.
Chasen Shreve got the final three outs in the ninth inning to seal the win.
Anyone who has watched enough of Pineda knows he is the epitome of an enigma on the mound. He turns in a solid outing, then follows it up with a poor one. Within games, Pineda can be dominant one inning and terrible in the next, and what's worse is that the inconsistency often occurs from batter to batter.
Today was one of those days where Pineda was completely on his game and he didn't fold, even after allowing the two-out seventh inning hit to Longoria, which broke up the perfect game. In and of itself, that's a good sign for Pineda. The home run he allowed to Logan Morrison was unfortunate for the final line, but it doesn't take away anything from his dominant effort.
Questions will continue to surround Pineda and his ability to turn in consistently positive performances until he strings together month after month of them.
The Yankees are off on Tuesday.
They continue their three-game series against the Rays at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m.