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Michael Pineda looks like new with Twins, first start since Yankees

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Big talents who never put it all together in pinstripes.

Sonny Gray did not take the best first step moving away from the Yankees on Sunday.

Michael Pineda did.

Big Mike, in his first start since July 5, 2017, was impressive Sunday, tossing four innings of one-hit, one-walk, no-run ball against the Indians and leaving after 40 pitches, as the Twins are giving him time to build up his arm following Tommy John surgery.

Pineda, who struck out five, did not have the high-octane stuff he did years ago with the Yankees, when his fastball neared triple digits. He lived in the high 80s and low 90s Sunday, pitching more than throwing, which was always an issue when he was in The Bronx.

Pineda did not reach his potential peak with the Yankees. His best year was an injury-shortened one, in 2014, when he put up a 1.89 ERA in 76 1/3 innings, but he never approached that productivity again. In his four-year pinstripe tenure, he went 31-31 with a 4.16 ERA, and after the surgery and an expired contract, the Yankees had little interest in a reunion.

Minnesota gave him a two-year, $10 million deal at the end of 2017, gambling he would come back healthy this season. So far, so good.

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