Much was made of Michael Pineda's start against the Red Sox on April 10. It marked his first win with the Yankees, but not without a little controversy.
During the outing, in which he allowed one run on four hits in six innings, Pineda was seen with what appeared to be pine tar on his right palm by television cameras.
While he was peppered with questions after that game, Pineda said it was just dirt on his hand. He didn't let it bother him against the Cubs on Wednesday, allowing just four hits in six innings for the win.
Pineda will try for that same level of success on Wednesday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"I'd love to be able to get what we're getting every time out. There's no doubt about that," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Yeah, we didn't know what to expect, because it's unfair to put any expectations on someone coming back from such a serious surgery. We knew what he was when he was healthy."
While Pineda (2-1, 1.00 ERA) has flourished in his past two starts, Red Sox right-hander John Lackey (2-2, 5.25 ERA) has struggled. Statistically, it's marked one of the toughest stretches of his career.
After allowing six runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against New York on April 12, including a career-high four home runs, he surrendered the same amount in 5 1/3 innings on Friday against Baltimore, both for losses.
It's the first time in the right-hander's 12-year career that he surrendered at least six runs and 10 hits in consecutive starts.
Red Sox manager John Farrell believes that the majority of Lackey's problems are because of missed location.
"It isn't so much his sequencing as it is him missing spots," Farrell said. "He hasn't been able to get away with those mistakes. That is part of what we are looking at. We found a few things that we can address."
Yankees: Nova likely to have Tommy John
After being examined in New York on Tuesday by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, right-hander Ivan Nova was advised to have Tommy John surgery on his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
An MRI arthrogram confirmed the original diagnosis of a partial tear in the ligament. The recovery time for the surgery is between 12 to 18 months.
"We had an inkling that was going to be the recommendation," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's unfortunate, and obviously he has to make a decision now. It's what you don't want to hear."
Vidal Nuno, who pitched five scoreless innings in a spot start against the Rays on Sunday, will become the team's fifth starter for the foreseeable future.
Red Sox: Nava out of lineup; Gomes in
Outfielder Daniel Nava wasn't in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Yankees. Instead, Farrell decided to start Jonny Gomes in left field.
Nava has struggled out of the gate this season, hitting just .149 with two homers, three RBIs and a .240 on-base percentage.
"He's probably swung the bat a little bit more earlier in counts than we've seen in the past, and that might be some reflection of the current level of confidence," Farrell said. "When he's squared up some balls, he hasn't seen the fruits of that too much. Like all players, they go through a little bit of a peak and valley and we're trying to get him out of that right now. Fundamentally, I can't say it's any one thing that he's breaking down from a swing mechanic standpoint."
Nava had a career year in 2013, batting .303 with 12 homers and 66 RBIs.
• Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is one game shy of tying Harold Baines (1,643) for the all-time record at the position.
• Of Boston's 21 games this season, 12 have been decided by two runs or fewer. The Sox have gone 7-5 in those contests.
• The Yankees are 10-2 this season when scoring first and 2-6 when opponents score first.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.