|Gerrit Cole pitching in the first inning on Friday night. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees trounced the Detroit Tigers, 13-0, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium, as Gerrit Cole flirted with perfection, and the Bronx Bombers bopped four home runs.
Cole pitched like the ace he is, and made his tough outing in Detroit in April a distant memory. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and it was broken up by a Jonathan Schoop single up the middle with two outs.
It was the second straight night a Yankee starter took a perfect game that deep into the game. Jameson Taillon took one into the eighth inning when it was broken up on a double by Jared Walsh to open the frame, so Taillon's lasted one out longer than Cole's.
The Yankees are the first team in the Expansion Era (from 1961 on) to open back-to-back games with 6.0-plus perfect innings.
Highlights of Cole's pursuit of perfection included striking out the side in the third, then getting a strikeout to open the fourth and then completing the next two outs as he fielded a grounder up the first base line by Harold Castro and Schoop lined one back to him at the mound.
Cole then struck out the side in the sixth before getting Willi Castro to fly out to right field to open the seventh, and then DJ LeMahieu made a great play on a grounder by Harold Castro before Schoop's hit sailed right past him to break it up.
Miguel Cabrera followed with another single, and Javier Baez struck out to end the seventh. That was all for Cole, whose final line read: 7 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 runs, o walks, 9 strikeouts.
|Gerrit Cole leaving the field after the sixth inning to cheers from the electric crowd. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Cole improved to 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA (53.1 IP, 12 ER) and 69 strikeouts in his last eight starts after posting a 6.35 ERA (11.1 IP, 8 ER) in his first three starts of the season.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone was asked what made Cole so dominant in this one, and he said, "You know, frankly, a lot more of what we've been seeing. I thought his last outing in Tampa (Sunday, May 29), I thought stuff-wise maybe as good as he's been, you know, he followed it up tonight, you know, I feel like he was kind of feeling for it there in that first inning, and then once he settled in in that second inning, he was just really good. I mean there's so many good sequences and pitches, you know, where he guided some pitches for locations. You know, they battled him hard, they spoiled a lot of good pitches against him, made him work a little bit for having a perfect game going, but I just thought he had a little bit of everything going, you know, the cutter was a big factor for him, he had a good fastball, you know, I thought threw some really good sliders, so just more of what we've been seeing from him."
The Yankees certainly gave Cole plenty of run support, to put it mildly. Detroit starter Elvin Rodriguez got through the first two innings with ease, but the Yankees came alive in the third.
Jose Trevino led off the third with a home run into the left field corner, and then with two outs, Aaron Judge crushed one to right for his 20th home run, and it was his 40th RBI, to make it 2-0.
After Rodriguez got the first two out in the fourth, Matt Carpenter kept it alive with a bunt down the third base line with the shift on, and it hugged the line and then rolled over the base.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa then doubled to keep it going, and Trevino then hit a fly ball to center field that should have been a routine out, but Willi Castro came in on it, so it went over his head. Carpenter and Kiner-Falefa raced around to score, and Trevino made it all the way to third base for a triple. Aaron Hicks then followed with a single to bring Trevino home and make it 5-0, but Hicks then was thrown out by W. Castro trying to stretch it into a double.
The Yankees blew it open in the fifth, as Anthony Rizzo had a three-run homer, and Carpenter then hit a blast to right for a two-run homer, his fourth already as a Yankee, and that made it 10-0.
|Anthony Rizzo approaching third base on his home run, with Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu ahead of him on the path to the plate. Photo by Jason Schott.|
That was all for Rodriguez, whose final line read: 4 1/3 innings, 11 hits, 10 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. 4 home runs.
Jacob Barnes came in for Detroit, but the Yankee hit parade continued, as Kiner-Falefa doubled, Trevino walked, and Hicks was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and LeMahieu then got a two-run single to make it 12-0.
The Yankees tacked on another run in the eighth when Aaron Judge got an RBI single to make it 13-0. That came off Harold Castro, who came in as Detroit didn't want to waste another pitcher.