Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - R.A. Dickey spun 6 2/3 scoreless innings to spoil Michael Pineda's long-awaited first start as a New York Yankee and lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-0 victory over their American League East rival.
Dickey (1-1) held the Yankees to five hits and a walk while striking out six, with three relievers polishing off the seven-hit shutout that evened this three-game series.
"I think this was a big game for us this early in the year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "[Dickey] stepped up for us and the bullpen did their thing."
Pineda (0-1) was hung with a hard-luck loss in his first big league outing since September of 2011, touched for one run on five hits over six innings of work. The right-hander, who spent the last two seasons recovering from shoulder surgery, fanned five without issuing a walk.
"I'm very happy about everything," Pineda remarked. "I've worked real hard the last two years to be [back] here."
Toronto led 1-0 after 7 1/2 innings before extending the margin on a pair of homers in the eighth, a solo blast by Melky Cabrera and a two-run shot from Jose Bautista.
The Yankees got three hits out of Jacoby Ellsbury and two each from Francisco Cervelli and Yangervis Solarte, but went 1-for-11 with men in scoring position and stranded 10 runners.
Pineda's only blemish came in the second inning, when Adam Lind stroked a leadoff double and Josh Thole sent him home two batters later with a bloop single to left. He yielded just one hit over the next four frames, setting down 13 of the final 14 hitters.
Colby Rasmus kept the Blue Jays ahead with a tremendous defensive play in the third, which Cervelli began with a double to right center before Dickey struck out the next two Yankees. Ellsbury then laced a single up the middle in which Rasmus fielded the ball cleanly and fired a strike to the plate to gun down Cervelli, with the out held up following a video review after New York manager Joe Girardi argued that Thole illegally blocked the plate.
"The way it was explained to us, if the catcher's in front of home plate towards third base, straddling the base, that is considered blocking the plate if you don't have the ball," Girardi said. "And I believe that's how [the play] was."
New York mustered few other scoring opportunities during Dickey's stint, though Ellsbury and Derek Jeter each reached base to open the sixth prior to the knuckleball specialist inducing a double-play grounder from Carlos Beltran.
The Yankees again put the first two on in the eighth, as Ellsbury singled off of Brett Cecil and Jeter drew a walk. Cecil regrouped to retire Beltran and Brian McCann before giving way to Sergio Santos, who struck out Alfonso Soriano to keep it a 1-0 game.
Cabrera gave Toronto some breathing room in the bottom of the inning with his second homer of the series. After Rasmus got on via a ground-rule double off David Phelps, Bautista crushed a hanging curve into the left-field seats for a 4-0 advantage.
Santos polished off his second save of the season after stranding two more Yankee baserunners in the ninth.