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Yankees RHP Pineda returns Wednesday for 1st start since pine tar suspension

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BALTIMORE - New York Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda will come off the disabled list Wednesday and make his first start since his suspension for using pine tar on the mound.

Pineda last pitched on April 23, when he was ejected from a game against Boston. He received a 10-game suspension from Major League Baseball for "possessing a foreign substance on his person."

Pineda has been on the DL since May 6 with a right shoulder muscle injury. He returns to face the Orioles after making two rehabilitation starts for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.

Pineda declared himself healthy and expressed an eagerness to put the suspension behind him.

"I know I made a mistake, so I learned from that," he said in the New York clubhouse Monday. "Everything is in the past right now. I want to continue my career. I'm focused on my game and I'm focused on pitching. I said sorry to my team, sorry to everybody."

Pineda is 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA in four starts.

"I'm working hard, I was doing good, and I want to be ready for this situation," he said. "I'm happy."

The Yankees considered giving Pineda another rehab start but decided he was ready to go.

"We feel he's ready now," manager Joe Girardi said. "His stuff was good. His slider was good, his fastball was good, and his changeup was good. You're never sure how when a guy's rehabbing how the arm strength is going to be and how short they're going to be, but he threw the ball well."

Pineda returns at a time when the Yankees need a surge to make up a six-game deficit on first-place Baltimore in the AL East.

"This is a guy that threw very well before he went on the DL and it will be nice to have him back," Girardi said.

In other news, New York on Monday selected the contract of reliever Chris Leroux from Triple-A and optioned pitcher Bryan Mitchell, who made his major league debut against Cleveland on Sunday.

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