Gerrit Cole earned two wins during the New York Yankees’ recent 11-game game winning streak by producing two scoreless performances.
Cole’s bid for a third straight consecutive stellar outing was pushed back a day due to heavy rain on Friday. He will be on the mound Saturday afternoon when the Yankees host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series.
The Friday game was postponed about eight hours before the scheduled first pitch, resulting in a doubleheader on Sunday. It also is possible Saturday’s game could be rained out as heavy rain is projected.
New York’s winning streak ended with a 2-1 loss on Wednesday in Toronto, when the Yankees’ only run came on a homer by Joey Gallo. The former Ranger was back in action after missing three games due to a groin injury.
“Winning 11 in a row, that’s no small task,” Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”
If the Saturday game gets played, Cole (2-0, 3.00 ERA) is hoping to extend a 12 2/3-inning scoreless streak.
On April 24, Cole allowed four hits and struck out nine in 6 2/3 shutout innings of a 10-2 win against the Cleveland Guardians. On April 30, he allowed five hits and struck out six in six innings of a 3-0 win against the Kansas City Royals, highlighted by getting Salvador Perez to hit into a groundout with the bases loaded to end the third.
“He was able to make some pitches,” New York catcher Jose Trevino said after the latter contest. “That’s what he does. He’s an ace for a reason. He comes out and makes pitches when he needs to and he did that tonight.”
Before the two outings, Cole lasted a career-low 1 2/3 innings April 19 in Detroit and saw his ERA rise to 6.35 before it plummeted during the winning streak.
Cole is 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rangers, but none of those starts came with Marcus Semien and Corey Seager in the Texas lineup.
Seager is 3-for-10 against Cole. Semien has three home runs but just a .172 average against the right-hander in 29 at-bats.
Texas lost nine of its first 11 games but heads to New York on a four-game winning streak. After prevailing in the final two games of its three-game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves last weekend, Texas swept a two-game series from the host Philadelphia Phillies this week. Brad Miller hit a two-run single in the 10th inning to give Texas a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.
Texas pitchers own a 2.42 ERA in the past 12 games, and in the past 14 games, Rangers relievers have a 1.95 ERA after pitching three scoreless innings Wednesday.
“I just think internally that the guys have kind of come together and really embraced the challenge,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “Everybody in that room has belief. Guys are starting to find their roles and you can see the bullpen really starting to throw the ball well.”
Former Yankees prospect Glenn Otto (1-0, 2.89 ERA) will look to extend the Rangers’ run of effective pitching when he makes his ninth career start on Saturday.
Otto is 1-3 with a 7.44 ERA since joining the Rangers in the Gallo trade last July. His most recent outing came against the Houston Astros on April 27, when he allowed two runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
–Field Level Media