Cortes Brilliant as Yanks SWEEP Guardians, NY 6 Cleveland 1 in 2nd Game

Nestor Cortes Jr calmed all worries by pitching a brilliant 6 innings to lead the Yanks to a 6-1 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader sweep in Cleveland. The Yanks had won the 1st game, 13-4.

The nightcap was a close game and pitchers’ duel between Cortes and Cleveland’s Aaron Civale through 6 innings — the Yankees countering an early Cleveland run with 2 of their own off Civale in the 4th to take a 2-1 lead.

But Civale tired in the 7th and the Yankees pounced with 4 runs to break Cleveland’s doors down.

With the sweep the Yankees improve to a gaudy 58-21 record, 14 games ahead of 2nd place Toronto, 14.5 over Boston, and 15.5 over Tampa.

Cleveland is a good team and this doubleheader was important to them; they fall to 39-36, in 2nd place in the Central, 3 games behind Minnesota. This led some Cleveland fans, who had been hoping for a Cleveland sweep, to vent after the 2nd game.

1. Cortes Brilliant

Cortes was coming off a couple of so-so starts, leading reporters like Michelle Markowitz to bluntly ask him after the last game if he thought the league had figured him out — leading to a pleasant but clearly a-bit-offended Cortes reply that “maybe” but he felt he was just not locating his pitches well.

And in this game, Cortes allowed a homer to Amed Rosario in the bottom of the 1st — just over the wall in center and the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge. Cleveland 1 NY 0 and the worries about Cortes mounted.

But after that — Cortes was light’s out. He retired the next 13 batters in a row — pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th until yielding a 2-out, infield single in the 5th.

By that time Cortes had a 2-1 lead, and he pitched a scoreless 6th before leaving. His line: 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 6 K’s, 0 walks. He gets the win to go 7-3 2.44.

“I thought all my pitches were there from the start,” said Cortes afterwards. “I thought Rosario hit a good pitch, being down in the count. I think I commanded both sides of the plate; everything felt normal again.”

When asked by Markowitz if he had made adjustments before this start, Cortes said “No. As I said before just the areas that I was throwing to were a little messed up, but I was able to throw to the correct spots today.”

2. HR’s by Rizzo & Stanton Put NY Ahead 2-1

DJ LeMahieu led off the 4th with a walk, but Aaron Judge hit into a double play. It was the second straight inning that the Yanks wasted a leadoff batter with a double play (Joey Gallo had led off the 3rd with a single!).

But Anthony Rizzo made it all ok with a 2-out, 409-foot homer to center for a 1-1 tie.

And Giancarlo Stanton followed back-to-back and belly-to-belly with a 432-foot missile to center for a 2-1 Yankee lead.

3. Yanks Break Down the Door in 7th

The Yanks broke it open in the top of the 7th — Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton (again) led the inning off with back-to-back singles, sending Civale to the showers.

Enyel De Los Santos came in to pitch and Josh Donaldson greeted him with a line drive RBI double to left and it was 3-1 NY.

Miguel Andujar grounded into a fielder’s choice — Stanton out at home but Donaldson moving to 3rd. De Los Santos then tried to pick Andujar off 1st but threw low and the 1st baseman couldn’t handle it — Donaldson scored from 3rd for a 4-1 NY lead.

De Los Santos walked Joey Gallo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled in a run to make it 5-1. Falefa stole 2nd and Kyle Higashioka hit a sac fly for a 6-1 NY lead.

4. King Gets Out of Trouble

Michael King pitched the bottom of the 7th, and got into trouble due to his own error on a fielder’s choice — making it 1st and 2nd, 1 out. With 2 outs he walked a batter for bases loaded, but struck out Richie Palacios to end it.

Boone put King out for the 8th as well and King breezed through the inning — allowing a two-out double but getting Ahmed Rosario to ground out to end it.

5. Holmes Puts the Fire Out

Wandy Peralta pitched the bottom of the 9th and got in trouble — 2 singles, 2 outs, and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases.

Clay Holmes came in and got a groundout for the old ballgame. And doubleheader sweep.

Video Highlights

The Boxscore


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.