Gerrit Cole strikes out 10 Rays as Yankees snap two-game skid

·2 min read

Gerrit Cole did not extend his winning streak Saturday, but the Yankees ace grinded out his first double-digit strikeout game with the Bombers, who powered their way past the Rays, 8-4, in the seven-inning afternoon game of a straight doubleheader

That snapped a two-game losing streak for the Yankees (10-4). Cole lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out 10.

That was not enough for him to record his 20th straight win, but with the help of home runs from Mike Ford, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, Cole’s streak of undefeated starts was extended to 26 regular-season games.

The Rays made Cole work hard Saturday, especially Yoshi Tsutsugo. His 12-pitch walk in the fourth seemed to be the turning point for Cole. That helped push up his pitch count and the fatigue seemed to set in in the fifth when he gave up a one-out double to Mike Zunino, and two-out RBI double to Ji-Man Choi. Aaron Boone left Cole in even at a season-high 104 pitches to try and get him through five and to qualify for the win. Instead, three pitches later Cole gave up a two-run homer to Ray’s designated hitter Jose Martinez.

The 10 strikeouts were Cole’s season high and the 36th time he had reached double-digit punchouts in his career. Last season, he did it 21 times, including in his last nine regular-season starts.

Ford’s first home run of the season was a huge 437-foot, two-run home run off Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow in the third. It snapped a 13-inning scoreless streak by the Yankees, who were shut out by Blake Snell and the Rays bullpen on Friday night.

Then the Yankees’ bats snapped back to life. Gio Urshela followed with a two-run double in that inning. Stanton hit his third of the season, a solo homer, and the first since July 25 off former Mets lefty Sean Gilmartin in the fifth. Judge hammered his major league-leading eighth, a two-run shot, in the sixth, also off Gilmartin.

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