Nestor Cortes dazzles again as Yankees cruise past White Sox

CHICAGO – Ahead of the Yankees’ most recent win, a 5-1 win over the White Sox on Saturday, Aaron Boone said Nestor Cortes was “one of the best pitchers in the game.”

The left-hander then walked out and once again proved that to be the case, giving up just one run in eight innings as the Yankees took three of four from the White Sox and has been going since 10-11. April still haven’t lost a game in a row.

Cortes’ terrific performance — the longest of his career — followed his final dominant appearance when he hit a no-hitter in the eighth inning against the Rangers and eventually threw 7 ¹/₃ innings of no-hit, which had been his career high.

A first inning single from Luis Robert eliminated that drama on Saturday, but Cortes was almost as effective after a shaky first inning in which he fully counted to the first two batters he faced before Robert’s base hit.

Cortes then got to work, knocking out 15 straight White Sox before Tim Anderson ended the streak with a line drive single to center with two outs in the sixth.

Nestor Cortes
USA TODAY sports

By then, the Yankees had a three-run lead thanks to some patient at-bats up top in the second, which allowed them to take advantage of some ferocity from Chicago right-hander Michael Kopech – who came on with a .93 ERA and eliminated the first five batters of the game.

But his command let him down in the second round when a two-out walk for Joey Gallo, a single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a walk by Jose Trevino loaded the bases for Aaron Hicks, who was at Gallo with the game one Walk to Force mastered first run.

The Yankees added two more runs in the inning without another hit when Kopech followed with another walk, this time to DJ LeMahieu, who scored Kiner-Falefa.

And with Aaron Judge on the plate and bases still loaded, a wild throw from Kopech allowed Trevino to go home for a 3-0 lead.

Judge’s hard third-place grounder ended the 41-pitch inning.

Kopech then mirrored Cortes and got into an unbeatable groove and didn’t allow another base runner, retiring the last 13 batters he saw.

Joey Gallo celebrates his home run in Sunday’s Yankees win.
USA TODAY sports

Cortes eventually slipped in the eighth.

Leury Garcia started the inning with a flyball into deep center that Hicks caught up and Adam Engel followed up with a laser over the wall in left field to make it 3-1.

Pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal then sent one out to the right where Judge made the catch, and Cortes’ outing ended with Josh Harrison grounding out.

He gave up just three hits — and no walks — while hitting seven in the 99-pitch gem.

The Yankees didn’t score their second goal of the day until there were two outs in the ninth game. That’s when Gallo provided some reassurance with a two-run homer. It was Gallo’s fifth homer of the season.

Clay Holmes finished ninth. Nestor Cortes dazzles again as Yankees cruise past White Sox


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