NEW YORK (AP) — Luke Voit hit a pair of three-run home runs, Masahiro Tanaka and two relievers combined for a four-hitter and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-1 on Friday night to complete a doubleheader sweep.
Gerrit Cole pitched a seven-inning two-hitter in the opener as the Yankees beat Baltimore 6-0 behind homers from DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner and Kyle Higashioka.
New York moved 3 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles for the AL’s final postseason spot as the teams began a four-game series. The Yankees had lost 15 of 21 coming in amid a rash of injuries, dropping to third place in the AL East behind Tampa Bay and Toronto.
DJ Stewart put Baltimore ahead 1-0 with a solo homer in the first inning of the nightcap, but the Orioles fell apart after that. It started with the defense, which faltered when New York’s baserunners turned up the pressure in the bottom half of the inning.
LeMahieu aggressively tagged up to take third on a flyout to left fielder Ryan Mountcastle, then scored on Clint Frazier’s groundout to shortstop José Iglesias. LeMahieu might have been retired on either play with better throws. Voit then scored easily from second on Gleyber Torres’ single when center fielder Cedric Mullins threw well wide of home.
Miguel Andújar followed with a two-run double to make it 4-1 as New York chased rookie Keegan Akin (0-1) with two outs in the first inning.
Voit turned it into a blowout with homers in consecutive innings against right-hander Asher Wojciechowski. His shot in the fourth made it 7-1, and he added a fifth-inning drive. The beefy slugger leads New York with 16 home runs and 36 RBIs.
Voit has been dealing with a lingering foot injury and limped around the bases after both homers. He was replaced by Mike Ford at first base to start the sixth inning.
Tanaka (2-2) allowed a run and three hits while striking out five on 91 pitches. Luis Cessa and Brooks Kriske each followed with a scoreless inning.
Baltimore’s Bryan Holaday was ejected by plate umpire Pat Hoberg for arguing a called third strike in the seventh.
The teams played a doubleheader after Thursday’s series opener was postponed by rain.
Cole struck out nine and walked one, taking advantage of an early lead after the trio of homers, all against starter Alex Cobb.
Cole (5-3) opened with 4 2/3 hitless innings before Hanser Alberto singled, although his effort wouldn’t have counted as a no-hitter regardless because it was a seven-inning game.
Cole tied Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer for the major league lead with two complete games, and neither of Cole’s lasted nine innings. The other was a rain-shortened, five-inning effort that beat Washington on opening night. Cole is the first Yankees pitcher with two complete-game wins of less than nine innings in one season since Allie Reynolds in 1952.
Cole had lost three straight starts for the first time since 2018, including an outing last Saturday at Baltimore. He’s never lost four straight.
“It really just solidified in my mind about all the things, all the intangible things we thought we were getting when we signed him,” manager Aaron Boone said about the way Cole handled the stretch.
Cobb (1-4) had been sidelined since Aug. 29 for undisclosed reasons. The right-hander said postgame he had a cold and stayed away from the team as a coronavirus precaution, although he didn’t have COVID-19.
LeMahieu greeted Cobb with his fourth leadoff homer this season, tying the Cubs’ Ian Happ for the major league lead.
Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez ended an 0-for-18 skid in the fifth inning of Game 2 with a single off the wall in right field.
Boone, Gardner and general manager Brian Cashman visited the 9/11 Monument on Friday and laid a wreath on the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Yankees players and coaches wore NYPD and FDNY hats throughout the doubleheader, and a moment of silence was observed before Game 1.
Orioles: DH Renato Núñez was hit in the left hand by Tanaka’s pitch in the second inning. His hand immediately began to turn black and blue, but he remained in the game. … Cobb was added to the roster as Baltimore’s 29th man for the doubleheader. Manager Brandon Hyde said the team will demote a different player before Saturday.
Yankees: OF Aaron Judge (right calf) and DH Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring) could report to the team’s alternate site for at-bats this weekend, putting them on track to return to the lineup by next weekend. … LHP James Paxton’s status remains unclear following a setback in his recovery from a flexor tendon strain in his throwing arm. Boone said there’s “still a chance on some level” that Paxton pitches again this season, and said it’s possible the 31-year-old could return as a reliever. … RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (unspecified medical issue) was set to throw a bullpen Friday and another Sunday with the expectation he could rejoin the bullpen Tuesday. … Kriske was New York’s 29th man.
Orioles RHP Dean Kremer (1-0, 1.50) goes for a repeat shutdown of the Yankees after he pitched one-run ball over six innings against New York in his major league debut last Sunday. Kremer limited the Yankees to one hit, struck out seven and retired 14 of his final 15 batters. He’ll oppose Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 5.27).
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