NEW YORK — Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI single off former roommate Clay Buchholz in his first game against the Red Sox, Michael Pineda won while pitching with a noticeable substance on his hand, and the Yankees beat Boston 4-1 Thursday night.
Brian McCann ended an 0-for-14 slide with a run-scoring single that put New York ahead during a two-run fourth.
Making his third big-league start, Dean Anna homered as New York made it 4-0 in the fifth.
After spending nine years in the Red Sox organization and winning World Series titles in 2007 and last year, Ellsbury left for a $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees. And his first game put him at the plate against Buchholz, his roommate at Lowell of the New York-Penn League in their first summer of professional ball.
Ellsbury grounded out in the first inning, reached on an error and scored the game's first run in the fourth, singled sharply to left to drive in a run in the fifth, and grounded out in the eighth.
Pineda, making his first Yankee Stadium start 27 months after he was acquired from Seattle, took a two-hit shutout into the seventh and appeared completely recovered from the shoulder surgery that sidelined him for two years. With pitches reaching up to 95 mph, he allowed four hits in his first Yankees' win, struck out seven and walked two.
Television cameras seemed to catch the substance on the lower part of Pineda's pitching hand. It looked like pine tar, which would be illegal to put on the ball, as is any "foreign substance of any kind," according to Rule 8.02 of the MLB rule book.
But no one from the Red Sox, who likely were aware of what had been spotted on TV, said anything, presumably because they didn't feel Pineda was gaining an advantage.
Pineda said it was dirt, rubbed on his sweaty right hand in between innings. "I'm not using pine tar," he said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi essentially repeated the same answer five times after the game.
"I never saw it. There's nothing really for me to talk about," he said.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said he found out about the substance only after Pineda's hand was cleaned up.
"It was not there by the time I was aware of it," he said.
"The Red Sox didn't bring it to our attention, so there's nothing we can do about it," umpire crew chief Brian O'Nora said. "If they bring it to our attention, then you've got to do something."
Daniel Nava led off the seventh with a home run, and Xander Bogaerts' single chased Pineda.
With David Robertson on the disabled list and Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren unavailable after pitching Wednesday, the Yankees scrambled their bullpen. Cesar Cabral and David Phelps retired the last nine batters, and Phelps got his first career save.