The Yankees couldn’t find enough offense in support of Gerrit Cole as they dropped their series opener to the rival Boston Red Sox, 3-2, on Friday night in the Bronx.
– Cole lost his spotless record Friday, but he pitched very well considering the offense wasn’t behind him tonight.
He scattered runners throughout his start and used the groundball to get double plays and stay out of big innings. Cole gave up just one run in the fourth and another — coming off a solo shot — in the sixth to keep the Yankees in it.
The Yanks’ ace grinded through six innings (101 pitches/68 strikes), giving up seven hits, one walk, two runs while striking out six.
– Manager Aaron Boone changed up his lineup for the first game of this series. Gleyber Torres was on the bench and the struggling DJ LeMahieu led off and played second. It seemed to work as LeMahieu smoked a single to leadoff the home half of the first. He was in a 9-for-62 slump entering Friday. He would pick up another single in his second at-bat and finished 2-for-4.
The Yankees had a hard time getting that timely hit against starter Garrett Whitlock in this one. They had a chance in the first with men on the corners and two outs when Jake Bauers grounded out.
In the third, Anthony Rizzo came up with a man on second and lined out to end the inning. Rizzo finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is now 1-for-28 since returning to the lineup after missing the Seattle series. He was a bit unlucky in a couple of those at-bats hitting them hard, but right at Red Sox fielders.
– Rafael Devers, who came in 7-for-30 with six home runs and 15 RBI against Cole, gave the ace all he could handle on Friday. He doubled and scored a run in the fourth, and then took the first pitch of his third at-bat in the sixth inning deep. The homer went 405 feet into the visitor’s bullpen in left field. He now has seven career home runs against Cole. He finished 2-for-4.
– Josh Donaldson crushed a 1-0 solo shot to straight away center to leadoff the sixth and cut the Red Sox deficit to 2-1. It was Donaldson’s fifth homer of the season and fourth since he returned from the IL last weekend. The third baseman has six hits this season, five are home runs. He finished 1-for-4.
-The bullpen couldn’t keep the score to a one-run game for long. Albert Abreu came in to start the seventh and gave up a one-out solo shot to Enrique Hernandez that was launched into the left-field stands, putting the Red Sox up 3-1. After giving up a single to Alex Verdugo, Nick Ramirez came in relief. After getting an out, Justin Turner singled but Ramirez got Devers to ground out to end the threat. Jimmy Cordero came in and kept the Red Sox off the bases to give the Yanks a chance in the bottom of the ninth.
Here’s how the bullpen broke down on Friday.
Abreu: 0.2 IP, two hits, one run, one strikeout
Ramirez: 1.0 IP, one hit, one walk, one strikeout
Cordero: 1.2 IP, zero hits, zero walks and two strikeouts
– In the seventh inning, with Nick Pivetta now pitching for the Red Sox, Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit an infield single. That was followed by Billy McKinney who narrowly missed a double down the right-field line. He would strike out, bringing up a pinch-hitting Torres. IKF, after being caught stealing in the second, swipes second and moves to third on the throwing error by the catcher. He then scored on a wild pitch by Pivetta to cut the Red Sox lead, 3-2.
Yankees, still down 3-2, came into the ninth inning to take on Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen. Bauers struck out swinging on three pitches. IKF flied out to right before McKinney singled to keep the Yanks’ hopes alive for Torres. The infielder singled up the middle to put the tying run on second.
Volpe was up and put a charge into a 3-2 count that fell just foul of the left-field foul pole. The rookie would fly out to the shortstop to put an end to the game with the Red Sox winning 3-2.
The Yankees continue their three-game series with the Red Sox on Saturday at The Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m..
Doming German will take the mound for the Yankees as he goes up against RHP Taylor Houck.
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