An eventful week with injuries and positive COVID-19 tests for their traveling party ended with a disappointing loss for the New York Yankees.
Overall, the Yankees are playing well recently and not many are performing better than Gerrit Cole, who takes the mound Monday night when New York visitsthe Texas Rangers for the opener of a four-game series.
The Yankees are 4-2 on a 10-game trip after taking two of three in Tampa Bay and Baltimore.
New York has been without Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton due to virus and physical reasons.
Torres is the only player of the nine people in New York’s traveling party to test positive despite full vaccination and he is not expected to return in Texas. Stanton, who is batting .282 with nine homers and 24 RBIs, missed the Baltimore series due to a sore left quadricep but could return this week.
Aaron Judge homered four times in Baltimore as the Yankees scored 19 runs. He homered Sunday but New York took a 10-6 loss despite scoring four times in the first inning.
“We go out and get four in that four-run inning, and you feel good about that, but we just weren’t able to add on,” New York manager Aaron Boone said.
Despite the disappointing outcome, the Yankees are 11-4 in their past 15 games and are 16-7 since getting off to a 6-11 start.
Cole (5-1, 1.37 ERA) is coming off a dominant start on Wednesday when he recorded 12 strikeouts and allowed four hits in a 1-0 win at Tampa Bay. His 78 strikeouts are the most by a Yankee through his first eight games or start in a season and so far, Cole has five double-digit strikeout performances.
“He’s so good and so much fun to watch,” Boone said. “It was just a lot of fun to watch him operate tonight, and really dominate. He’s an ace. He’s a bulldog.”
Cole is second in the AL in ERA behind Baltimore’s John Means and his 78 strikeouts are third in the majors behind Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow. Cole also has fanned 56 since his last walk on April 12.
The right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 10 career starts against Texas, which he last faced Sept. 18, 2019 when he struck out 10 and pitched eight innings of two-run ball.
Texas reached .500 by winning eight of 12 games from April 27-May 9 but has scored just 17 runs in a six-game skid. The skid continued Sunday when the Rangers allowed four runs in the eighth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros after David Dahl hit a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh.
“We do gotta get a lot better in certain areas, pretty much in every aspect,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “We haven’t really played that good of baseball lately and a few mistakes are costing us, a few at-bats, a few pitches here and there but we’ve been in a lot of games obviously but they have to keep their head up and let this sting a little bit.”
Sunday marked the fourth time in the skid the Rangers were held to three runs or less and since their victory, they are batting .203 (40-for-197) and some of their main hitters are in slumps.
Jordan Lyles (1-3, 6.63 ERA), who is 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA in his past three starts, opens the series for Texas. Lyles is coming off a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday when he allowed both runs in the first inning and permitted two hits in five innings.
Lyles’ only previous appearance against the Yankees was June 22, 2016 for the Colorado Rockies when he allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits in 2 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media