May 18, 2012, 9:55 PM EDT
It didn’t take Andy Pettitte long to find his mojo. He struck out nine in eight scoreless innings Friday as the Yankees beat the Reds 4-0 in the second start of his comeback.
The Reds’ dysfunctional offense was no better tonight with designated hitter Ryan Ludwick batting in Bronson Arroyo‘s place. Manager Dusty Baker’s switch putting Zack Cozart in the leadoff spot last month has produced disastrous results, yet he remains too stubborn to try something new. Cozart went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts tonight. The top five hitters in the Cincinnati lineup were a combined 1-for-15 with 10 strikeouts.
Pettitte excelled from the start tonight, just as he did five days ago against the Mariners. This time, he was able to keep it going through the middle innings. All four hits he allowed were singles, and he struck out just one. Unfortunately, the strikeouts did add to his pitch count, and at 115 pitches after eight, he wasn’t given the chance to go for his first shutout (or complete game of any type) since 2006. It was the first time since July 8, 2008 against the Rays that he finished an outing with eight scoreless innings.
Pettitte is expected to face the Royals next Wednesday in his third start back. Just like the first two, it will come at home in Yankee Stadium.
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