What a difference a year makes in the Bronx.
Last year at this time, Michael Pineda was recovering from shoulder surgery, Brian McCann was behind the plate for the Atlanta Braves, Dean Anna was playing shortstop for the Tucson Padres of the Pacific Coast League, and Jacoby Ellsbury was in centerfield for the Boston Red Sox.
On Thursday night those four were wearing pinstripes and contributing to a 4-1 New York Yankees win over the Red Sox.
Yankees vs Red Sox
At Yankee Stadium Since 2007
Pineda threw six innings of one-run ball to earn his first major-league victory since July 30, 2011, and now has given up just two runs over 12 innings in his first two starts with the Yankees.
He is the first pitcher to go at least six innings and allow one run or fewer in each of his first two appearances for the Yankees since Kevin Brown did that in his first three Yankee games in 2004.
Pineda flashed his filthy slider, throwing it 23 times and allowing just one hit off the pitch, a Xander Bogaerts single leading off the fifth inning. Batters are now 2 for 15 in at-bats ending in a slider from Pineda this season, and seven of his 12 strikeouts have come via his slider.
McCann got the Yankees on the scoreboard first with an RBI single in the fourth inning, which snapped a personal 0 for 14 slump that dated back to the series in Toronto. It was a milestone hit for him, his first one at Yankee Stadium in a Yankees uniform.
Anna, playing in just his fourth major-league game, gave the Yankees an insurance run in the fifth inning with his first career big league homer. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Anna is the first Yankee to hit his first career homer against the Red Sox since Andy Phillips on Sept. 26, 2004.
Ellsbury capped off the scoring for the home team with a fifth-inning RBI single, scoring Derek Jeter to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead against his former team. Ellsbury is now 13 for 30 (.433) in his last seven games after going hitless in the first three games of the season.
And that four-run lead was enough for the Yankees, who are now 5-0 this season when leading after six innings, tied for the best such record in the majors.