Yankees Pitcher Pineda Ejected From Game With Pine Tar on Neck

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from tonight’s game at the Boston Red Sox for having pine tar on his neck, two weeks after denying he uses the banned substance.

Home plate umpire Gerry Davis ejected Pineda in the second inning after rubbing his index finger on the pitcher’s neck. Davis had gone to the mound to inspect Pineda, 25, at the request of Boston manager John Farrell.

On April 10 in a 4-1 win against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, television images seemed to show an unidentified substance on Pineda’s throwing hand. Pineda told reporters after the game that “I’m not using pine tar. It’s dirt and sweat.”

Hitters are allowed to use pine tar to keep the bat from slipping out of their hands, but it’s forbidden for pitchers to use the gooey substance. Especially in cooler weather, pitchers have been known to use a variety of substances to try to improve their grip on the ball.

Major League Baseball rules state that pitchers may not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball or have a foreign substance in their possession.

Pineda was traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Yankees in January 2012, then missed the past two seasons while recovering from shoulder surgery. He is 2-1 this season with a 1.83 earned run average. He left tonight’s game after giving up two runs in 1 2/3 innings and with the Yankees trailing 2-0.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Gloster at rgloster@bloomberg.net

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