MLB Roundup: Cole strikes out 13 to lead Yankees past Orioles, 7-2

NEW YORK (AP) — Much was amiss in Gerrit Cole’s first year with the New York Yankees.

With his second season in the Bronx closer to normal, he spent all night making bats miss.

Cole struck out 13 and walked none over seven scoreless innings, overwhelming the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 Tuesday night for his first win this season.

“Definitely more comfortable,” Cole said. “Certainly, just teammates-wise, socially wise, it’s been a lot easier than inserting yourself into a new team, into the environment that we had last year and a more normal setting, more normal season, people in the stands.”

Cole was 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts last year after the Yankees made him baseball‘s highest-paid pitcher with a $324 million, nine-year contract.

“Last year was weird and hard and difficult on so many different levels for everybody,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Gerrit is more comfortable now knowing everyone in the organization, knowing his pitching coach and where to go for information and his teammates.”

Cole (1-0) allowed four hits, three of them singles. J ay Bruce backed him with his first Yankees home run, a solo shot in the second off Dean Kremer (0-1) that was a Yankee Stadium special of 354 feet into the right-field short porch. Aaron Judge added a three-run homer against Wade LeBlanc in the eighth.

New York has won 12 straight home games against the Orioles since May 2019, tying the Yankees’ mark vs. the old St. Louis Browns in 1926-27 and outscoring Baltimore 76-30. New York moved above .500 for first time this year at 3-2.

Pitching with long sleeves on a night with a gametime temperature of 68, Cole threw 71 of 97 pitches for strikes. The 30-year-old right-hander induced 23 swinging strikes and got 17 called strikes from plate umpire Marty Foster.

He warmed up to the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” and the Orioles could find none. Cole got stronger as the night went on, throwing at up to 100.5 mph and retiring his last 12 batters. He mixed 40 fastballs with 23 sliders, 21 knuckle-curves and 14 changeups.

“When you punch a guy out to end the inning and the fans go wild, I definitely missed that probably more than anything,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said.

Cole’s was just the seventh start for the Yankees of seven shutout innings with 13 strikeouts and no walks: Mike Mussina did it against Boston and Baltimore in September 2001, and Ron Guidry (1984), John Candelaria (1988), David Wells (1998) and Masahiro Tanaka (2017) accomplished it once each.

He became the first Yankees pitcher to strike out seven batters in 11 straight regular-season starts.

After Gary Sanchez started the first four games, Higashioka caught Cole, as he did during last year’s playoffs.

“I’m comfortable with both guys, but Higgy and him definitely have a good kind of thing going and a yin and a yang,” Boone said.

Lucas Luetge allowed Rio Ruiz’s two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, Baltimore’s first home this year, after Ryan Mountcastle beat a two-out single on a call upheld in a video review.

Bruce saved a run in the first, throwing out speedy Cedric Mullins trying to score from third after backhand grab on Anthony Santander’s one-hopper with the infield in.

“Besides that, we didn’t square many balls up on him the rest of the night,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

Red Sox 6, Rays 5, 12 innings

BOSTON — Randy Arozarena got twisted around in deep right field on J.D. Martinez’s two-run double with two outs in the 12th inning that lifted Boston over Tampa Bay.

The Rays were in line for the win before Christian Vazquez belted Diego Castillo’s 0-2 pitch over the Green Monster for a tying homer leading off the ninth.

Martinez had an RBI double in the eighth for the Red Sox, who won their second straight after an 0-3 start.

Tampa Bay has dropped three in a row.

Astros 4, Angels 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Carlos Correa hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth inning, lifting Houston to the victory.

Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Diaz hit back-to-back homers in the second inning for the Astros, who went an impressive 5-1 on their six-game road trip to start the season amid the incessant booing and jeering they’ll hear indefinitely as fans react to their sign-stealing scandal in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Mike Trout hit a 464-foot homer in the first inning, but the Angels dropped to 4-2 and failed to match the best six-game start in franchise history. Raisel Iglesias (1-1) got the loss.

Ryan Pressly (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for Houston, getting Justin Upton to ground into a game-ending double play.

Rangers 7, Blue Jays 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nate Lowe homered twice for Texas and padded his franchise record for RBIs to start the season with four more.

Lowe was the first Texas player to go deep in front of the home fans at Globe Life Field, lining a two-run shot into the Toronto bullpen in left-center field for a 2-1 lead in the first inning.

Ronald Guzman and Jonah Heim also went deep for the Rangers in their first four-homer game in their year-old ballpark. It was also the first six-homer game in the regular season, with Toronto’s Bo Bichette connecting twice.

Lowe’s third homer of the season was a two-run drive to center in the third. His 14 RBIs through five games are the most in franchise history and the most in the majors since Chris Davis had 17 for Baltimore in the first five games of 2013.

Dane Dunning (1-0) worked five innings for the win, and Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect ninth for his first save with Texas.

Toronto’s Tanner Roark (0-1) gave up five runs in three innings.

Tigers 4, Twins 3, 10 innings

DETROIT — Akil Baddoo added another big hit in this charmed start to his big league career, lining an RBI single in the 10th inning for Detroit.

Baddoo made his debut Sunday and homered on the first pitch thrown to him. Then he hit a grand slam in a 15-6 loss to the Twins on Monday. The rookie entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch runner, stayed in to the play the outfield and ended it with a hit to right off Hansel Robles (0-1).

Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton homered for the Twins, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit.

Gregory Soto (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for Detroit, and the Tigers scored in their half of the 10th.

White Sox 10, Mariners 4

SEATTLE — Jose Abreu hammered a grand slam into the second deck for his 200th career home run, Luis Robert and Zack Collins both went deep for the first time this season and Chicago beat Seattle.

A miserable night for the Mariners began when starting pitcher James Paxton exited early due to a left elbow injury.

Lucas Giolito (1-0) struck out 10 in 5 1/3 innings.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Mets 8, Phillies 4

PHILADELPHIA — Marcus Stroman tossed six sharp innings in his first start since 2019, sending New York to the win.

Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso each hit a two-run homer for the Mets.

Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer for Philadelphia, which sought its first 5-0 start since 1915.

After sitting out last year due to COVID-19 concerns, Stroman (1-0) didn’t miss a step. He allowed one run and three hits.

Phillies starter Chase Anderson (0-1) permitted two runs and two hits over five innings in his first start with his new team.

Nationals 6, Braves 5

WASHINGTON — Juan Soto drove in the winning run with a single on a 3-0 pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the coronavirus-depleted Washington Nationals to a comeback victory over the Atlanta Braves after waiting five days to start their season.

Lefty reliever Will Smith (0-1) entered for the ninth and promptly gave up a single to new leadoff hitter Victor Robles, and then hit Trea Turner with a pitch. That brought up Soto, the 2020 NL batting champion, and he delivered a line drive to center field.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson homered against Washington ace Max Scherzer. Acuna drove Scherzer’s first pitch of the game deep to left-center, and led off the third with his second homer.

Turner hit a two-run shot for the Nationals. Daniel Hudson (1-0) got the win.

Because of a COVID-19 outbreak — four players tested positive; seven were forced into quarantine after potentially being exposed — Washington’s first four scheduled games were scrapped.

Padres 3, Giants 1

SAN DIEGO — Victor Caratini hit a tiebreaking two-run homer for San Diego, and Yu Darvish pitched six strong innings.

The Padres won a few hours after getting the news that star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to avoid surgery for now for a partially dislocated left shoulder. Tatis was placed on the 10-day injured list and the Padres didn’t set a timeline for his return.

Reds 14, Pirates 1

CINCINNATI — Tyler Naquin homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs, leading Cincinnati to its fourth straight victory.

Rookie Jonathan India had three hits and four RBIs in Cincinnati’s latest offensive outburst. Tucker Barnhart and Nick Senzel also had three hits apiece.

The Reds set a franchise record with 46 runs in their first five games. The 1895 and 1976 teams scored 44 runs through five games.

Cardinals 4, Marlins 2

MIAMI — Yadier Molina hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly off former batterymate Sandy Alcantara, capping St. Louis’ three-run rally in the sixth inning.

Dylan Carlson hit his second homer of the season for an insurance run in the ninth.

Alcantara was traded by St. Louis in a package to Miami for Marcell Ozuna in December 2017, three months after making his major league debut with Molina behind the plate.

The 25-year-old Alcantara (0-1) struck out 10 in six innings. He permitted two earned runs and four hits.

Ryan Helsley (1-0) won in relief and Alex Reyes went 1 1/3 innings for his second save.

Brewers 4, Cubs 0

CHICAGO — Freddy Peralta pitched five sharp innings, Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer and Milwaukee stopped a three-game slide.

Peralta (1-0) struck out eight and walked four. Kris Bryant doubled in the fourth for Chicago’s only hit of the game.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 8, 13 innings

DENVER — Stephen Vogt homered and hit a go-ahead single in the 13th inning as Arizona overcame Ryan McMahon’s three home runs, beating Colorado in a game delayed about 50 minutes at the start by snow flurries.

McMahon hit three solo homers in his first three at-bats to become the 18th player in Rockies history with three in one game. He added an RBI double in the 13th.

Winning pitcher Matt Peacock (1-0) had a big major league debut for the Diamondbacks, tossing three innings, getting his first hit and scoring in Arizona’s three-run 13th.

Christian Walker hit a two-run homer for Arizona. Dom Nunez and Sam Hilliard also went deep for the Rockies.

INTERLEAGUE

Dodgers 5, Athletics 1

OAKLAND, Calif. — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw struck out eight in seven smooth innings to send the Athletics to their worst start in more than a century.

Mookie Betts homered for the first time this season, a towering solo shot to left-center in the ninth. Max Muncy and Edwin Rios also went deep for the World Series champion Dodgers (5-1).

At 0-6, the A’s have matched the poorest start in franchise history.

The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics also began the season with six consecutive losses.

Oakland and Atlanta (0-4) are the only winless teams in the majors.

Kershaw (1-1) permitted one run and four hits.

Jed Lowrie had two hits and scored Oakland’s only run. Chris Bassitt (0-2) gave up four runs in six innings.

By Paul Wager