Nasty Nestor K’s 12 in 5 Innings. Yanks Can’t Score. Baltimore 5 NY 0

Nestor Cortes Jr has become the ace of the Yankee pitching staff, vaulting ahead of Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino. Once again he was lights out — this time striking out 12 batters of the 15 outs he got in 5 shutout innings of pitching — including an immaculate inning when he struck out all 3 batters on 9 pitches.

But lefty Bruce Zimmermann and the Oriole bullpen shut the Yankees out. The game was 0-0 in the bottom of the 8th, when Baltimore scored 5 runs to win 5-0 — sending Nestor’s mastery to the wind.

On a sunny but cold and somewhat windy Easter Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

1. Cortes Immaculate

Cortes was immaculate again — using all kinds of deliveries, hesitation moves, arm angles, and wicked stuff including a very live fastball to mow down the Orioles.

And that was before he pitched the immaculate inning.

“Early on I was having a little trouble gripping the ball, the wind and how dry it was out there,” said Cortes afterwards. “And once it started heating up and the wind calmed down a little bit, I was able to get a grip and by the 3rd inning I was on a roll, commanding every pitch for strikes and putting away hitters earlier.”

Cortes said he was able to command his cutter to the outer edge of the plate: “Hitters are expecting inside cutters from me, and I was able to manage the outer rail with the cutter, kind of back dooring it a bit.”

On one of the 3 batters he DIDN’T strike out, he got a great play from Josh Donaldson behind him at 3rd.

2. Yanks Couldn’t Score

Besides Zimmerman’s 5 shutout innings, the Yankee batters were shut down by 6’5 right hander Felix Bautista, former Yank Dillon Tate, and Baltimore’s ace reliever Jorge Lopez.

The Yanks could only muster 4 hits, and 3 walks. DJ LeMahieu got 2 of the hits and 1 of the walks — he is red hot early this season — and is now batting .321 (.424 OBP).

The other hits were by Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Hicks. Aaron Judge got a walk, as did Isiah Kiner-Falefa. That was it.

3. The Orioles Runs

The game was 0-0 in the bottom of the 8th when Jonathan Loaisiga allowed the 1st two baserunners on a walk and single, then got 2 outs, then walked a batter to load the bases with 2 outs.

Former Yank Rougie Odor pinch hit a single to score 2 runs and that was the ballgame. Lucas Luetge was brought in and he was not ready — allowing a double and single to up the score to 5-0.

The Boxscore



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