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Michael Pineda can't hold 4-1 lead over Blue Jays

New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda reacts

New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda reacts after giving up a two-run game-tying home run to Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion during the fifth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Michael Pineda was cruising.

The righthander retired the first seven Blue Jays he faced in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader and allowed one baserunner in the first three innings.

Pineda allowed the first of Jose Bautista's two homers in the top of the fourth, but when Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, the Yankees had a 4-1 lead.

But Pineda could not hold it.

Ben Revere, a trade-deadline acquisition, hit his first homer as a Blue Jay and second this season with one out in the fifth. After Pineda walked Bautista with two outs, Edwin Encarnacion pulled a 1-and-2 slider just inside the leftfield foul pole for his 32nd homer, tying it at 4-4 in what became a 9-5, 11-inning win for Toronto.

"The first couple of innings, I threw the ball really good," said Pineda, who has allowed four runs in back-to-back starts. "Everything was working really good. The last couple of innings, I didn't have very good luck, they hit a couple of homers and that was the game."

Pineda, who has allowed at least four earned runs in five of his last six starts and has a 4.25 ERA, suffered a flexor strain in his right forearm on July 30 and came off the disabled list on Aug. 26.

"I feel very good right now and that everything's working really well," he said. "Sometimes you have really good games, sometimes you have bad games. You have to keep your head up and keep working, keep fighting."

How about now?

Even with Mark Teixeira out for the season, Joe Girardi didn't sound as if Alex Rodriguez would be an option at first base as a backup for Greg Bird.

"I think you have to look at some things," Girardi said. "[Dustin] Ackley has played there."

General manager Brian Cashman has mentioned Brendan Ryan as a possibility. There also is Sept. 1 call-up Austin Romine, a catcher who played a good deal of first base for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after catching prospect Gary Sanchez was promoted from Double-A Trenton in mid-July.

Sanchez up

Sanchez, a one-time top Yankees prospect whose stock fell in recent years but rebounded this season, was called up Saturday morning from Triple-A along with outfielder Slade Heathcott, who played for the Yankees earlier this season.

"I have no words," the 22-year-old Sanchez, an international signing by the club in 2009, said through a translator. "Very emotional. This is every baseball player's dream."

The Yankees think Sanchez, who hit a combined 18 homers for Trenton and Scranton this season, has matured and want to give him a look if the situation presents itself.

"I could see myself pinch hitting him. He's a pretty big right-handed bat," Girardi said. "If I feel he can help us, and there are certain situations I think he can, I'm going to use him."

Extra bases

Rodriguez's fourth-inning homer in the first game gave him 3,057 career hits, three shy of tying Craig Biggio for 21st all-time . . . The Blue Jays are 11-4 against the Yankees this season, including 8-1 at the Stadium.

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