On a night when they got two homers from Aaron Judge, with Gerrit Cole on the mound and the Orioles in the Bronx, the Yankees also got something else: a dose of reality.
Their historic strong start was sidetracked for a few days, with major throwing injuries, a suspension for Josh Donaldson and now, the team’s first three-game losing streak, courtesy of a 6-4 loss to Baltimore, last place at the stadium. .
“It’s a bit of adversity,” Cole said. “It’s been a tough time, with the number of games, double games and injuries that have piled up on us. It could turn around tomorrow or next week. As players, we have to stay in the middle.
On Monday, no one else hit but Judge, Cole gave up a season-high five runs, and the Orioles, who entered after winning three of four — all on hits — continued their surprising ways to win.
It seemed a particularly unlikely outcome when the Yankees gave Cole a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Cole was 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his previous five starts — all Yankees wins.
He struck out a season-high 11 and didn’t hit a batter on Monday, but was ruled out by five hits in the Orioles’ third four-run run.
“It was a special night,” Cole said of what was a dominating eight-inning performance, aside from a fateful six-hitter streak. “This round is a bit difficult to digest. Lots of credit to them.
The Baltimore explosion came out of nowhere and dissipated just as quickly, but the damage was done.
Cole struck out the first six batters he faced before Ramon Urias led out the third with a brace down the left field line.
After a wild pitch, Robinson Chirinos hit an RBI double wide wide to right center to cut the Yankees lead to 2-1.
The one-out single from Cedric Mullins on the left sent Chirinos down to third. Mullins swept the second, and Austin Hays’ two-run single at center gave Baltimore the lead, 3-2.
Trey Mancini’s right-hand single was Baltimore’s fifth hit in the inning and brought pitching coach Matt Blake to a visit with Cole. A force from Ryan Mountcastle drove Hays to make it 4-2.
Cole bounced back in the fourth, hitting the side in order.
Judge continued to terrorize opposing pitchers, punching a one-out solo shot down first against Jordan Lyles — already making his fourth start against the Yankees this season.
It was a 112mph laser that struck at the back of the visitor’s enclosure at center left.
The Yankees added a run in the second, capitalizing on a Chris Owings error, as Jose Trevino’s RBI single made it 2-0.
But they couldn’t add more, because after a failed bunt attempt, Marwin Gonzalez – substitute at third base – retired and Anthony Rizzo went on a double play.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit hard ground after the third to open the bottom of the fourth, but was ruled a foul by third base umpire Doug Eddings. The replays seemed to indicate that it was a good ball. Kiner-Falefa later batted.
The judge’s second shot of the night, a one-out two-run shot in the fifth, tied the game at 4-4. It was his fourth multi-home game of the season.
But Cole gave up a two-out homer on the field opposite Urias in the sixth to put the Yankees back in a one-run hole.
Rizzo reached on a single rocket left with two outs in the seventh, ending Lyle’s night.
Facing right-hander Felix Bautista, Judge walked, but Giancarlo Stanton struck to end the threat.
Baltimore added an insurance run in the ninth against Wandy Peralta.
Late inning against Jorge Lopez, Florial walked and pinch hitter DJ LeMahieu crashed in a forced out. Gonzalez hit in a double play to end it.
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