ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Gerrit Cole came within one strike of earning his 20th straight regular-season win before getting pulled, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 Saturday in the opener of a seven-inning doubleheader.
Cole, who had won his first three starts since signing a $324 million, nine-year contract in the offseason, took a 5-0 lead into the fifth. With two outs and a runner on, Cole had a 1-2 count on Ji-Man Choi, who came back to hit an RBI double.
Jose Martinez followed with a two-run homer on the 107th pitch from a clearly tiring Cole. The ace stared in disbelief and went into a squat as Martinez’s drive left the ballpark.
“Obviously pitch count got up there,” Cole said. “I wasn’t able to finish the outing the way we wanted to. They just ran the count.”
Soon after Yankees manager Aaron Boone took a slow walk to mound to replace Cole with Chad Green (2-0), who got the win after allowing one run over 1 1/3 innings.
“He was really good,” Boone said of Cole. “Credit to them, they made him work. A couple mistakes there at the end cost him.”
Cole was bidding to tie Roger Clemens, Jake Arrieta and Rube Marquard for the third-longest streak ever. Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell leads the list with 24 in a row, followed by Roy Face with 22.
Cole struck out 10, walked one and gave up six hits. His only loss since May 2019 came in Game 1 of the World Series last October, pitching for Houston against Washington.
Stanton made it 5-0 on a fifth-inning shot off Sean Gilmartin before Judge hit a two-run drive off an overhanging catwalk in the sixth that put New York up 7-3.
Urshela got his third RBI on a sacrifice fly in the the seventh. He also made a nifty waist grab near the third-base dugout after a long run on pinch-hitter Austin Meadows‘ foul in the sixth.
Glasnow gave up four runs, five hits, three walks and struck out five during a 71-pitch outing.
“It obviously didn’t go as planned. I left too many good pitches over the plate and didn’t get ahead of anybody,” Glasnow said. “When I can’t throw a curveball for a strike, I have one option, or one-and-a-half options basically, just a little bit of a changeup. When I start 2-0, everyone in the building knows what’s coming.”