There’s the Gerrit Cole the Yankees thought they were getting.
The right-hander dominated the Orioles in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 6-0 seven-inning victory in The Bronx.
Cole had taken the loss in his previous three starts, but didn’t allow a hit until Hanser Alberto singled to right with two outs in the top of the fifth.
By then, the Yankees’ offense had given Cole a five-run lead, backed by three homers in the first two innings against Alex Cobb.
It was the Yankees’ second straight win after a five-game losing streak, as they try to assure themselves a spot in the postseason. They entered Friday just 1 ½ games up on the Orioles for third place in the AL East — and the last spot in the playoffs.
DJ LeMahieu opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with his fourth leadoff homer of the season. Luke Voit followed with a single through the right side of the infield to bring up the struggling Brett Gardner, who hit third in the lineup in Game 1. He entered 10-for-35 with a homer against Cobb and homered to make it 3-0 three batters into the game.
The Yankees continued the rare onslaught in the second, with Mike Tauchman hitting a single and Kyle Higashioka delivering the Yankees’ third homer of the afternoon to provide a 5-0 lead.
Tauchman’s RBI single in the sixth added to the Yankees’ lead.
Cole was excellent, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out nine.
The only Oriole to reach base before Alberto’s single was Ryan Mountcastle, who got on twice.
The first came on a throwing error by LeMahieu at third base to start the second inning. Mountcastle also drew a two-out walk in the fourth.
It was Cole’s second consecutive outing with Higashioka behind the plate. In the last start, Cole gave up five runs — only one earned — in six innings.
Before Friday’s game, Aaron Boone said he would “not necessarily” plan on pairing Cole and Higashioka the rest of the way.
“It will be how the schedule rolls out more and then we’ll take it day-by-day,” Boone said.