Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Dickerson homers to help Cobb, Rays beat Yankees 4-1

The first few games of the MLB season are on the board with baseball making its return this past Sunday.

Yankees: In Wednesday night's series finale, RHP Michael Pineda will look to stop a career-high, 10-start winless streak dating to a victory over Cleveland on August 5.

The Yankees bounced back from their Game 1 disaster with an impressive blanking of the Rays on Tuesday.

The two teams traded solo home runs early, with Dickerson leading off the bottom of the first with his first of the season and Ellsbury answering in the second.

Five relievers finished the five-hitter with Aroldis Chapman, back with the Yankees after agreeing to an $86 million, five-year contract, threw a ideal ninth. The cutter and backdoor slider have been a little inconsistent, but in the spring, those are usually the pitches that will come last. The call was confirmed after a replay review. Stroman is 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four career starts at Tropicana Field.

Last season, Pineda's troubles with two out were hard to fathom even to his closest observers in the Yankees' dugout. Pineda lasted only 3 2⁄3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits.

"When you sign contracts like that - I think Steve Kerr talked about it - there are things that you're going to have to deal with, and expectations is one", Girardi said. Archer ended with 108 pitches, 61% of them being strikes. Yet plenty of Pineda's pitches were either belt-high, over the heart of the plate, or both. Manager Joe Girardi may have to really start mixing stuff up in the Yankees' batting order.

Asked Tuesday about people questioning his readiness, Cobb replied, "I'd say just watch and find out, I guess".

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O'Neil declined to comment Tuesday, and a Justice Department spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment. He described the source as an intelligence official, not a White House official.

Mattingly said they speak about once a year.

Pineda lasted only 3 2/3 frames, giving up four runs and eight hits while striking out six batters. He is now hitting.083 to begin the 2017 campaign.

Starlin Castro did something that Robinson Cano never achieved in pinstripes - a three-hit Opening Day performance (the most recent Yankee second baseman to do it was Tony Womack in 2005) - while Chase Headley joined A-Rod (2006) and Wade Boggs (1994) as the only Yankee third baseman in the last 90 seasons to have three hits on Opening Day. Kevin Kiermaier singled, which put Dickerson on third, but made an ill-advised attempt to steal second and was cut down by Sanchez to end the inning.

Matt Holliday drove in his first run as a Yankee with a third-inning double on a high fly that Peter Bourjos lost track of and dropped by the left-field corner.

Starting his 17th major league season and the final year of his Yankees contract, the 36-year-old Sabathia (1-0) limited the team he has faced more than any other to three singles and a pair of walks in five innings.

The Yankees seemed as if they might get something going in the eighth against Ramirez.

The "good" news after the Yankees Opening Day debacle is that there was only one way to go after such a depressing game - up - since you probably could not have scripted a much more disastrous start to the 2017 season. Here's hoping they do not forget to pack their bats on the plane to Baltimore.

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