New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball issued a 10-game suspension to New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda on Thursday.
Pineda was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox for using an illegal substance.
The Red Sox asked to have Pineda checked in the second inning and umpire Gerry Davis touched a brownish substance on the pitcher's neck before ejecting him. Pineda later admitted his mistake, saying he was using pine tar for a better grip on the ball after not using it in the first inning when he allowed two runs.
"I don't feel the ball," Pineda said about why he used the pine tar. "I don't want to hit anybody."
Earlier this month in a start against Boston, cameras showed Pineda with a similar substance on his right hand and before the Red Sox could ask umpires to check, the pitcher's hand was clean.
Pineda held Boston to one run over six innings in that 4-1 Yankees win. Red Sox manager John Farrell said the team had a "heightened" awareness for Wednesday's game.
"I could see it from the dugout," said Farrell after the game. "It was confirmed by a number of camera angles in the ballpark. And given the last time we faced him, I felt like it was a necessity to say something."
Pineda, at the time of the first incident on April 10, said the substance was just dirt.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team was unaware that Pineda went to the mound for the second inning on Wednesday with the pine tar.
"I don't think he's trying to do anything to cheat," Girardi said after Wednesday's game. "I think he's trying to just go out there and compete. It's unfortunate it happened, but we'll deal with it and we'll get through this. It's a little bump in the road and we'll be alright."
The 10-game suspension will likely mean that Pineda will miss two starts. He is 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA in four starts this season.
Tampa Bay's Joel Peralta was hit with an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his glove in June 2012.