Yankees, Gerrit Cole get blown out of Fenway Park by Red Sox

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BOSTON — Gerrit Cole squatted behind the mound. The Yankees ace had just given up a three-run bomb to Rafael Devers. It was the second he had given up Sunday and there was just one out in the first inning. Even Cole could not figure a way out of this nightmare roller coaster ride the Yankees have been on.

Cole gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw Sunday and the Bombers could not catch up. The Red Sox blew out the Yankees 9-2 to complete the series sweep in front of a packed house at Fenway.

The Yankees (40-37) were swept by the Red Sox (47-31) for the second time in two series they faced them this season. It was the third time they have been swept overall this season, and the second on the road. The Yankees have lost four of their last six games and find themselves on the outside of the American League East division leader race and falling further behind.

The Yankees came in here with momentum and feeling confident having put together a streak of come-from-behind wins. Sunday, they threatened a comeback, but fell short again.

After Aaron Judge cut the Red Sox lead to 6-2 with his 17th home run of the season, which flew over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street in the sixth, the Yankees had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh. DJ LeMahieu was called out on strikes and Judge popped out to first.

Cole got dinged from the get-go. His first pitch, to Enrique Hernandez, was crushed for a lead-off home run. It was the first time in his career that he gave up a home run on his first pitch. It was the first time he gave up two home runs in the first inning and he tied a career-high, allowing three home runs on the day. It was the first time he allowed three homers since Aug. 26, 2020 against the Braves. The five earned runs tied the most he has allowed as a Yankee, having done it twice already this season.

It had to be what the Yankees can only hope was rock bottom for Cole. Over his last five starts, which happen to coincide with when the league made it clear they were going to crack down on illegal substances on the ball, Cole has pitched to a 4.65 ERA. He’s allowed 16 earned runs and allowed nine home runs. He has walked eight and struck out 32 in 31 innings pitched.

It’s a sharp contrast to his first 11 starts of the season, when he posted 97 strikeouts to nine walks and five home runs allowed over 70.2 innings pitched. He threw to a 1.78 ERA in that span and was in the early conversation for Cy Young honors.

He wasn’t helped by his offense or the defense behind him.

The Bombers went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners. Giancarlo Stanton struck out three times and they grounded into a double play.

Small mistakes, one of the few consistent themes for the Yankees this year, proved costly. Miguel Andujar threw to third instead of second to hold the runners in the first. Clint Frazier’s throw to home sailing up to third base in the third. Gleyber Torres’ wildly wide throw to first in the third — and again in the fourth.

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