New York Yankees RHP Michael Pineda struck out eight batters in seven strong innings and outdueled Houston's Dallas Keuchel in New York's 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Pineda (5-9) settled down after a leadoff home run and escaped trouble in the sixth inning to earn his second straight win and put the Yankees three games over .500 for the first time this season.
"We had a feeling it was going to be a low-scoring game," Chase Headley, who hit an RBI single in the fifth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch and Brian McTaggart. "Mikey was outstanding. Credit to him. The pitching staff has been great lately and that's a big reason why we're playing a lot better."
After back-to-back losses in which he gave up five runs to the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, Pineda is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA since the All-Star break. Monday's game was Pineda's "best performance of the season," manager Joe Girardi said, according to Newsday's Greg Logan.
Pineda gave up one run, a leadoff home run to George Springer, five hits and two walks. He retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced following Springer's 22nd home run of the season.
"I said, 'Big Mike, keep it real, keep it calm,'" catcher Austin Romine said, according to Newsday. "He put up zero after zero."
Pineda pitched into and out of trouble in the sixth inning. He allowed an infield single to Jose Altuve and back-to-back walks to load the bases for Alex Bregman, who made his MLB debut. He got Bregman to fly out to right field to end the threat.
"I'm watching a little bit; he got it good," Pineda said, according to MLB.com. "I'm happy we got the out. [I was] a little worried because a grand slam, that kills my game."