NEW YORK -- Michael Pineda turned in a fantastic effort, striking out a career-high 16 -- tied for the second-highest total by a Yankees pitcher all-time -- as New York took three of four in its four-game series against Baltimore with Sunday's 6-2 win.
In the Mother's Day matinee, during which both the Orioles and Yankees wore pink to pay tribute, Pineda worked seven innings of dominant baseball, not issuing a single walk and allowing only J.J. Hardy's solo homer. The Yankees offense rewarded him with a four-run fourth inning that started with Carlos Beltran's homer. Brian McCann also went deep off Orioles reliever Brian Matusz in the fifth.
Orioles starter Bud Norris lasted just 3 1/3 innings and became the fourth pitcher in Baltimore's past five games to not complete six. The O's dropped to 3-6 on their nine-game road trip, the first leg of which was originally a home series played at Tropicana Field.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Pineda aces it: With CC Sabathia struggling and Masahiro Tanaka injured, the question has been whether the Yankees have an ace. Sure looks like it, doesn't it? Not only is Pineda 5-0, but he has a 2.72 ERA, with an amazing 54 strikeouts and three walks in 46 1/3 innings.
"He's a dominant pitcher, he really is," McCann said. "His stuff today was electric. Almost every time he takes the mound, it is." More >
Norris struggles: The righty was unable to complete four innings for the third time in six starts this season. Norris, who was sent back to the hotel sick on Saturday afternoon, allowed all four runs in his final inning and saw his ERA swell to 9.88 in the process.
"Not an excuse, but I definitely didn't feel the best out there," Norris said. "I had a lot of stomach stuff and some things, so I'm going to try to get home, get some rest, put some fluids in me. I've been battling the stomach thing. I really wanted to go out there and give everything I had. Unfortunately, we came up on the short end today. It's a little frustrating because we know we're a good ballclub and unfortunately we're in a tough patch." More >
Carlos belts one: Beltran, finally starting to look better after a horrible April, hit two balls very hard Sunday. The first bounced off the right-field wall so quickly that Beltran had to stop at first base with a single. No such problem on the second one, which carried into the right-field seats for his first home run of the season, jump-starting the Yankees' four-run fourth inning. Beltran reached base in all four plate appearances Sunday, with two walks to go along with the two hits.
K-O'ed: The Orioles had no answer for Pineda outside of Hardy's homer and couldn't even work a walk. Instead, they struck out 16 times in the first 21 outs -- 18 times in the game -- and lowered their average runs scored per game on the nine-game road trip to under three. Hardy was also the only member of the starting lineup who didn't strike out against Pineda.
"He's always good, he's got good stuff, but he was commanding all three pitches," Hardy said. "It's deceptive. He's a giant out there, so he looks like he's even closer than he really is. He was tough today."
"Eight walks and two hit by pitch. That bothered me more than anything. Strikeouts [by Pineda] obviously are frustrating." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on his club's pitching staff
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pineda's 16 strikeouts tied the most by a Yankees right-hander (David Cone vs. the Tigers in 1997), and were the most by any Yankee since David Wells had 16 against the A's (also in 1997). No Major League pitcher had fanned 16 in a game since 2013, when Detroit's Anibal Sanchez had 17 against the Braves.
Sunday's win gave the Yankees their first series win over Baltimore since Sept. 9-12, 2013. They also won three of four in that set.
The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Jorge Rondon off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. He will be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. To make room on the roster, the club moved injured catcher Matt Wieters to the 60-day disabled list. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Baltimore will finally head home for a nine-game, 11-day homestand that starts Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET against Toronto. The Orioles haven't played a home game in front of their fans since April 26. Righty Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start. .
Yankees: The Yankees hit the road for a nine-game trip that opens with four games against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Sabathia, still looking for his first win (0-5 in six starts), starts the 7:10 p.m. ET opener on Monday against Rays right-hander Alex Colome. The Yankees have won five of six over the Rays so far this season.