CLEVELAND — The Yankees’ most established pitcher delivered exactly what his team needed on Saturday— and one of their emerging relievers did the same for the first time. After Gerrit Cole
CLEVELAND — The Yankees’ most established pitcher delivered exactly what his team needed on Saturday— and one of their emerging relievers did the same for the first time.
After Gerrit Cole shut down the Indians for most of seven innings — outdueling Shane Bieber — Jonathan Loaisiga closed it out with a four-out save and the Yankees won their third straight game for the first time this season.
The 2-1 victory at Progressive Field came after manager Aaron Boone said he wanted Cole to “set the tone and keep this train going.’’
Cole allowed just a third-inning run, while giving up three hits, with no walks and 11 strikeouts. Bieber, last year’s AL Cy Young winner, allowed a pair of fifth-inning homers to Aaron Hicks and Rougned Odor — which was all the offense the Yankees needed.
The Yankees had a chance to get to Bieber in the top of the first. Giancarlo Stanton singled up the middle and Aaron Judge walked with one out, but Gleyber Torres struck out and Gio Urshela stared at a called third strike.
Bieber went on to retire 11 consecutive Yankees following Judge’s walk.
Cole gave up a grounder to shortstop by Amed Rosario to start the bottom of the first, then whiffed the next four batters.
In all, Cole retired the first seven batters he faced until Roberto Perez drilled a 3-2 four-seamer for a double to right-center with one out in the third.
Cole fanned Andres Gimenez before Rosario hit a hard grounder to second, where Odor made the play.
Cleveland threatened and broke through in the fourth. Jose Ramirez hit a fly ball to the wall in right. Judge leaped and got his glove on it to save a homer, but couldn’t hang on to the ball and Ramirez hustled to third for a one-out triple. Eddie Rosario followed by serving a single into left to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t last, as Hicks led off the fifth with a homer from the left side. He had been 4-for-41 hitting left-handed entering the at-bat.
Following strikeouts by Clint Frazier and Kyle Higashioka, Odor homered for a second straight game, a 426-foot shot to right-center, to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
The Yankees threatened again against Bieber in the seventh after walks to Frazier and Odor, but DJ LeMahieu grounded to short for the fourth time in the game and Bieber got through the inning at 119 pitches.
Meanwhile, Cole finished his night by retiring the final 11 batters he faced, leaving after seven innings and a season-high 111 pitches. Cole has struck out 42 in his last 26 ¹/₃ innings — and walked just one.
Hicks came up in the eighth with two on and two out, but popped out foul against right-hander Bryan Shaw.
The Yankees’ bullpen made the slim lead hold up after Justin Wilson took over for Cole in the bottom of the eighth. The left-hander walked Perez on four pitches and fell behind pinch hitter Jordan Luplow 3-0, while also firing a wild pitch that sent Perez to second. But Wilson got Luplow to pop to second.
Loaisiga came on to face Amed Rosario and got the former Met to pop to short to end the inning, then retired the side in order in the ninth for his first major league save. Loaisiga was filling in for Aroldis Chapman, who had closed games the previous two nights.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin