Wrong place. Right ace.
The Yankees faced Baltimore because the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak could wind up with infections on the Phillies, and MLB put both Miami and Philadelphia on ice until their situations are resolved. That forced the Yankees and the Orioles into a two-game set since neither of them had anybody to play.
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It worked out perfectly for the Yankees, who watched Cole fire a strong 6 2/3 innings before giving up a double (Renato Nunez), a two-run homer (Dwight Smith Jr.) and another double (Pedro Severino), ending his night at 102 pitches.
it was Cole’s second Yankees outing since signing a nine-year, $324-million deal with the club in the offseason.
Though Cole was brilliant most of the night, he took it hard after manager Aaron Boone pulled him. Cole’s eyes were fixed on his cleats in the dugout. When he talked to pitching coach Matt Blake, he repeatedly shrugged his shoulders. He pored over a sheet that charted his night.
The Yankees improved to 3-1. The Orioles fell to 2-2.
As Cole stretched his winning streak, which dates back to last year, to 18 games, the Yankees continued their ownership of Baltimore.
The Yankees have won 17 straight games over the O’s since April 4, 2019. It’s their third-longest winning streak against a single opponent in franchise history, behind only a 19-game winning streak over the Philadelphia A’s from 1938-39 and a franchise-record 21-game streak over the St. Louis Browns in 1927.
Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu each clubbed their first homers of the coronavirus-shortened season.
LeMahieu had four total hits. Gleyber Torres, who torched the Orioles all last season, finished 0-for-4. Gary Sanchez struck out three times and didn’t have a hit in four at-bats. Brett Gardner fanned four times.
The Yankees will take on the O’s again Thursday in Baltimore. On Friday, they’ll have their home opener against the Red Sox.
The Yankees expanded their lead from 2-1 to 5-1 thanks to a couple of third-inning homers.
Judge led the frame with a bomb to left-center field, his first shot of the year. Judge, perhaps the strongest player in the game not named Giancarlo Stanton, appeared to mishit the ball, barely getting under it. Still, his power pushed it halfway up the front seats, 386 feet from home plate.
Then Hicks socked a line-drive two-run shot with one out. After Stanton walked, Hicks turned on a first-pitch fastball that was about hips-high, crushing it at 97.1 mph, a no-doubter over the right-field wall. It was also Hicks’ first blast of the season.
LeMahieu led the game off with a homer to right field.
The ghost of Jacoby Ellsbury
Strange, but Orioles catcher Pedro Severino twice committed catcher’s Interference in the Yankees’ two-run first inning. Happened with Judge in the box and then Stanton. Play stopped after Stanton hit Severino’s glove. At points, Severino seemed to be in extreme pain.
Mike Ford, who started at first base for the first time this year, had the bases loaded and scored Judge with a one-out sacrifice fly to right field.
Cole retired 15 hitters in a row before his night went left. He struck out seven and walked two. Lefty veteran Luis Avilan replaced him and got the final out of the inning. Chad Green pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Rookie Brooks Kriske made his big-league debut with a clean ninth inning.
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