Gerrit Cole shines again as the Yankees roll to eighth straight win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In late April, the Yankees find themselves in first place on an eight-game winning streak — and an ace that seems to be finding its form.

Gerrit Cole started scoreless for the second straight game and the Yankees’ offense put up enough runs for a 3-0 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday night.

Cole, whose ERA was 6.35 after his first three games, wasn’t dominant, but he was effective in pitching back behind the plate with Jose Trevino.

Before the game, manager Aaron Boone said that the pairing between Cole (2-0) and Trevino is not permanent and that it is more a matter of planning.

We’ll see if the Yankees decide to keep the duo together after Cole struggled throwing to the typically reliable Kyle Higashioka.

“I’m perfectly comfortable with whatever it is,” Boone said of who catches Cole.

He called Trevino’s work with Cole “seamless” from what Higashioka has built with the right-hander.

Gerrit Cole played six innings scoreless in the Yankees' 3-0 win over the Royals.
Gerrit Cole played six innings scoreless in the Yankees’ 3-0 win over the Royals.
USA TODAY sports

A lot of how the Yankees have looked lately has been seamless. They have won nine of their last ten and have the best record in the American League (15-6).

After hitting double-digit runs in four of five games for the second time since 1955 and the first since 2002, the Yankees’ offense had a more modest performance on Saturday.

The Yankees had the bases loaded and nobody at the top of the second after Gleyber Torres led with a single left, Aaron Hicks walked and Joey Gallo added a base hit to the right.

When Isiah Kiner-Falefa landed on the floor with a double, Torres scored to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but that was the only run they carried away.

The Yankees had blocked bases again in the third, with some help from third base umpire CB Bucknor. After Josh Donaldson pulled a one-out walk, Anthony Rizzo didn’t seem to check his momentum on a 2-2 pitch, but Bucknor decided he held and Rizzo went on the next pitch.

Gleyber Torres, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, laces a single in the first inning of the Yankees win.
Gleyber Torres, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, laces a single in the first inning of the Yankees win.
USA TODAY sports

Giancarlo Stanton singled out Torres, who hit a sacrificial fly to make it 2-0. However, Rizzo was kicked out when he tried to steal third place to end the threat.

Cole drove into the third when Edward Olivares got an out on a too-short infield hit. Nicky Lopez fouled before Cole Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi gave two straight four-pitch walks.

After a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, Salvador Perez batted on the first pitch he saw, landing too short to keep the Royals scoreless.

The Yankees got more traffic on the bases in the fourth with a leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks and an infield single from Gallo. Hicks advanced to third place with the throw, which allowed him to score on a sacrificial fly from Kiner-Falefa.

In the sixth, the Yankees failed to convert a scoring opportunity.

Singles from Torres and Hicks opened the inning before Tim Locastro (replacing Gallo after the left fielder was removed with a tight left groin) lined out, Kiner-Falefa grounded and Trevino jumped out.

Cole allowed only three singles and a pair of walks until sixth when Carlos Santana hit a single and hit a Hunter Dozier double with an out for third place.

Cole responded by knocking out rookie Bobby Witt, Jr. and Kyle Isbel.

Miguel Castro stepped up to start the end of seventh place, and with two ons and an out, Benintendi initially hit a line drive to Rizzo. Rizzo shot for second place to double for Olivares.

Clay Holmes kept getting into trouble in the eighth round.

Aroldis Chapman, who hadn’t served since Tuesday, came in ninth. After some problems with PitchCom technology, Chapman closed for his fifth save. Gerrit Cole shines again as the Yankees roll to eighth straight win


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