NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole posted his 20th straight regular-season win, becoming the sixth pitcher to ever reach the mark by throwing seven sharp innings to lead the New York Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 10-3 Friday night.
A noted Yankees fan growing up in Southern California, Cole (4-0) allowed one run and four hits in his first taste of the storied rivalry, albeit in front of empty seats. He struck out eight, walked none and threw 95 pitches.
“It was a tight game for a while,” Cole said. “We needed to make some pitches and we did.”
Cole, who came within one strike of a win his previous start before getting pulled, moved closer to the all-time record of 24 consecutive victories by Carl Hubbell in 1936-37. Roy Face is next at 22, followed by Roger Clemens, Jake Arrieta and Cole at 20 each.
“Best pitcher in the game and that’s what you’re seeing,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “You’re seeing a guy that’s great at his craft with elite stuff and the ability to command it.”
Cole’s only defeat since May 2019 was in the World Series opener last year, when he pitched for Houston and lost to Washington.
Since his last loss in the regular season, Cole is 20-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 27 starts. His 27-game unbeaten streak is tied with Firpo Marberry for the fourth-longest in baseball history. Roger Clemens holds the record with a 30-game unbeaten streak in 1998-99 followed by Kris Medlen and Dave McNally at 28 games apiece.
“That’s impressive but it speaks to his consistency and his work ethic,” Yankees right fielder Mike Tauchman said.
The Yankees improved to 7-0 at home for the fourth time since 1959 (also 2017, 1998 and 1987). New York also beat Boston for the seventh straight time and is 12-1 at home against the Red Sox since the start of last season.
Gary Sánchez homered for the second straight game and Gleyber Torres had four hits, including a two-run double in the third.
Tauchman drove in four runs and started in right field for Aaron Judge, who landed on the injured list with a mild right calf strain. Clint Frazier also hit a two-run double in the eighth.
DJ LeMahieu had two more hits and ended the night with a .429 average. It was his 69th multihit game as a Yankee and eighth this season.
Alex Verdugo homered for Boston, which lost its fifth straight to fall to 6-14. The Red Sox also lost to the Yankees for the 12th time in the past 13 meetings since July 28, 2019.
Rafael Devers hit an RBI single in the eighth off Jonathan Holder.
J.D. Martinez went 0-for-4 with three of his four strikeouts against Cole.
“Obviously a great pitcher makes you chase a lot more,” Boston manager Ron Roenicke said. “Every time I looked up at a strikeout it was on a corner somewhere and it was great stuff. Whether it’s 97 fastball or a great slider or a curveball, it’s a great pitch.”
Boston used Colten Brewer (0-1) as an opener and he allowed two runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead third on Torres’ double in the third and then added three runs apiece in the fifth and seventh and two runs in the eighth.
Red Sox: José Peraza (leg) was held out after getting hit by a grounder while pitching in the ninth inning Thursday in a 17-8 loss to Tampa Bay.
Yankees: Judge’s move to the IL was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone is hopeful it will be a short stint. Cole said he didn’t notice Judge was missing until the second inning, when he asked Sánchez where Judge was. “Some teammate I am, I guess,” Cole said. … INF Thairo Estrada was recalled from the alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … LHP Aroldis Chapman was slated to face hitters at the alternate site but the team did not provide an update.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 4.09 ERA) starts Saturday. Eovaldi is 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA in eight appearances, including five starts against the Yankees.
Yankees: LHP James Paxton (0-1, 7.84 ERA) starts Saturday. Paxton is 5-1 with a 3.23 ERA in nine career starts against Boston.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports