The Yankees save Nestor Corte’s jewel after a 1-0 no-hit win

As Nestor Cortes delved deeper into his bid for a no-hitter Monday afternoon, there was only one problem: the Yankees were beaten on their own zero in the run column.

Whatever history the left-hander had within reach was in danger of being tainted by his offense’s inability to scratch even a single run.

But even after Cortes lost his no-hit bid with an out in the eighth inning, the Yankees made sure it wasn’t all for naught as Anthony Rizzo’s RBI double in the bottom part of the inning was enough to secure a 1-0 win to back up over the Rangers at Yankee Stadium

Rizzo delivered a flyball into the wide open gap in left center field, scoring Aaron Judge from first base and sending the Yankees (20-8) to their 13th win in their last 15 games.

As Cortes hit the eighth inning for the first time in his career as an MLB starter, his no-hitter was interrupted by Eli White’s one-out single to right midfield.

Rangers’ first goal came on Cortes’ 103rd and final pitch of the day (one of his career highs), after which Aaron Boone came to pick it up. The crowd gave Cortes a standing ovation as he exited the mound after giving up four walks and batting 11.

Nestor Cortes didn't give up a goal until one fell out in eighth in the Yankees' win over Rangers on Monday.
Nestor Cortes didn’t give up a goal until one fell out in eighth in the Yankees’ win over Rangers on Monday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

He leaned on his cutter in Corte’s latest gem, which again proves his breakout season last year was no fluke. He threw it 51 times and it triggered 12 puffs, including six of his strikeouts.

Clay Holmes relieved Cortes and rolled up a double-play ball to get out of the inning.

Aroldis Chapman then worked around a two-out single in the ninth to secure the defense.

Cortes was there from the start, needing just nine pitches to go through a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts. In the third inning, he hit the side, each on his cutter, and then knocked out the first two batters he faced in the fourth.

After requiring 83 pitches to go through four innings in his last start against the Blue Jays, Cortes raced to 62 pitches through five hitless innings Monday.

Meanwhile, Jon Gray smothered the Yankees. He didn’t concede until Josh Donaldson’s single in the fourth inning. Joey Gallo then led the fifth with a single before Isiah Kiner-Falefa popped out while attempting to knock down a bunt. But Gray left the game seconds later with a coach after apparently picking up an injury.

Anthony Rizzo in the game's only run in the eighth inning gave the Yankees a win over the Rangers on Monday.
Anthony Rizzo in the game’s only run in the eighth inning gave the Yankees a win over the Rangers on Monday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Aaron Judge meets Anthony Rizzo's RBI double.
Aaron Judge meets Anthony Rizzo’s RBI double.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Brock Burke replaced Gray and was greeted by a single from Jose Trevino a day after the ex-Rangers catcher made a 0-for-24 sled. Burke then went to DJ LeMahieu to load the bases for Judge.

But Judge and Rizzo both struck out to end the threat. It was the second game in a row that Judge had hit with loaded bases.

The Rangers ended Cortes’ streak of 13 straight batters when White pulled a one-out walk in the sixth inning. But Cortes came back to ground the next three batters to bye the sixth on 74 pitches.

Cortes led two batters who were pinched for fielder choice in the seventh inning, resulting in a mound visit from pitching coach Matt Blake. Chad Green also began warming up in the bullpen as Cortes’ pitch count increased through the mid-’80s.

But Cortes bounced back by beating Andy Ibanez and getting Kole Calhoun to finish the inning with 94 pitches — already a season-high. The Yankees save Nestor Corte’s jewel after a 1-0 no-hit win


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