Yankees drop second half of doubleheader with Rangers – The Mercury News

This stretch was going to be a test. With two rainouts this weekend, the Yankees’ pitchers were going to be challenged as they tried to cover 23 games over 22 days. Nobody thought it was going to be the offense they had to worry about.

The Yankees managed just four runs over 18 innings as they split a Mother’s Day doubleheader with the Rangers. Gleyber Torres hammered his fourth home run of the season to walk off the first game 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton brought in the only runs in the second with a homer as the Rangers rallied for a 4-2 win in the night cap.

“I did think we hit some balls, squared some balls. Giancarlo hit that ball that ends up landing in the bullpen,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We didn’t get a lot going necessarily; we had a chance there late. We got the bases loaded but just couldn’t punch through with that hit tonight.”

The Yankees (19-8) have won 12 of their last 14 games, but the schedule only gets tougher. They have the rubber match of the series on Monday afternoon with Nestor Cortes, their best starter this season, on the mound.

Michael King, who had been nearly perfect so far this season, gave up a two-run home run in the top of seventh inning of the 4-2 loss.

The Yankees managed just two hits off Rangers starter Dan Dunning in the first game and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Bombers got two more off Glenn Otto, the right-hander they sent to Texas for Joey Gallo last season. They went 1-for-6 with RISP in the second game. That included loading the bases in the seventh inning and Aaron Judge flying out to left field to strand three runners.

“Maybe it was those three days off,” Torres said of the lack of scoring. “I mean, I think most of the guys take off, the time on the swing and things like that. But those (Rangers) pitchers throw really well. And we didn’t make adjustments and we didn’t get any opportunity to score runs.”

Pitching, which has carried this team most of the season, came through strong for the most part Sunday.

King took a career-high scoreless streak into Sunday’s game, giving up his first run since April 11. He came in with no outs in the seventh and right after lefty Jordan Montgomery gave up a leadoff double to Jonah Heim. King walked Kole Calhoun, who had spoiled Gerrit Cole’s scoreless streak earlier in the day, and struck out Nathaniel Lowe. He got a ground ball forceout from Andy Ibanez before giving up the tying run on a wild pitch. Brad Miller then crushed his third home run of the season to dead center field.

That spoiled a really good start by Montgomery. Charged with the run that King allowed on the wild pitch, Montgomery allowed two earned runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

That came on the heels of a very strong start for Gerrit Cole and a really good sign for the Yankees that after a rough start to the season he is showing consistency. Cole struck out 10, his first double-digit strikeout game of the year, and held the Rangers to just one run. He walked one and gave up five hits.

Sunday, pitching on two extra days of rest, the routine-oriented Cole fought himself and the win early on, needing 47 pitches to get through the first two innings.

“The wind was affecting the cutter a bit today. I just couldn’t get it to really kind of go left through the wind, and then on the flip side it was kind of helping the fastball. It’s kind of blowing it up in a way,” Cole said. “So I thought we use elements well, I think we got a little cute in the second inning. But we made our adjustments and locked it back in and made a lot of good selections going forward. “

He retired 10 straight and 14 of the last 15 he faced. Cole got 26 swings and misses Sunday, including 14 on his four-seam fastball. He had 17 called strikes, seven on the fastball.

With the weather having pushed the Yankees into the unenviable situation of playing 23 games in 22 straight days, the Bombers need efficient pitching. So it’s understandable Cole tried to give them seven innings, throwing a season-high 114 pitches.

After a rough start to the 2022 season, Cole has seemingly settled in.

In his last three starts, Cole has allowed one earned run over 19 innings pitched. He walked four, gave up 14 hits and struck out 25. That’s a remarkable turnaround from his first three starts, when he had a 6.35 ERA after allowing eight earned runs in nine hits, walked eight and struck out 12 in just 11.1 innings pitched.

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