In a pitching duel between Gerrit Cole and Dane Dunning, the Yankees’ ace was matched by the prize of the Lance Lynn trade for most of the Sunday matinee. Although Cole lost a small lead in the seventh, Gleyber Torres eventually became the hero with a walk-off bomb to give the Yankees a 2-1 win for the first game of this doubleheader on Mother’s Day.
Cole had a great final line, but his afternoon didn’t get off to the best start. One of the many bats — perhaps the one — that really needs to breakout for the Rangers, Marcus Semien had a line-drive single in the first. Joey Gallo made a really poor defensive play, as the Yankees’ left fielder took a step back on a blooper and wasn’t able to correct his mistake. Luckily, Cole got out of the inning, as he struck out Nathaniel Lowe with runners at the corners.
Dunning wasted no time showing the Yankees all of his pitches in the first and getting whiffs with the sinker, changeup, and two on the slider. He kept the Yankees off balance and really shut down the offense, far more than most expected.
Cole faced some traffic in the second as well. Mitch Garver led off the inning with a double, and with two outs there were two very questionable calls. First, everyone missed catcher’s interference on Andy Ibáñez, and then he reached base on what appeared to be a swing in a full count. Marwin Gonzalez made a nice defensive play for the third out.
Anthony Rizzo made a good-looking play in the third, as Corey Seager hit a grounder that deflected off the first base. The Yankees’ first baseman made a quick adjustment, got the ball, and shuffled it to Cole for the out:
After a couple of shaky innings, Cole settled in and retired 10 batters in a row until Semien reached with an infield single to lead off the fifth.
Cole had six scoreless, and it was easy to assume he was done after 105 pitches. Perhaps looking ahead at the marathon of 23 games in 22 days, Aaron Boone sent his ace back out for the seventh, and it came back to bite him as he gave up an one out solo home run to the slumping Kole Calhoun.
The Yankees’ ace had a terrific outing nonetheless, going 6.1 innings and a season-high 114 pitches. Overall, Cole had 26 whiffs and 10 strikeouts, and the Yankees needed all of it, as he left it at a 1-1 tie.
The Yankees offense went hitless against Dunning until Aaron Judge managed an infield hit to open up the bottom of the sixth. Rizzo followed that up with an opposite-field single, and Giancarlo Stanton drove in the first run of the game on a sac fly to right field.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Yankees had the opportunity to take the lead, but Aaron Hicks struck out swinging after a Kyle Higashioka bunt that put runners on second and third. Judge hit a flyout to end the frame, keeping the game knotted at one run apiece.
Following up Cole, Boone sent out Jonathan Loaísiga and Clay Holmes, and both superb relievers did their job in keeping the game at 1-1. Loaísiga retired all five hitters he faced, and Holmes worked around a two-out double to grant the Yankees’ offense a walk-off opportunity.
Both bullpens were combined for 4.2 scoreless innings heading into the ninth, and it looked like this game was headed for extra innings which is the last thing either team wants in a doubleheader. However, Gleyber Torres had other plans.
Leading off the bottom of the ninth, the right-handed hitter went opposite field off John King for a walk-off solo home run:
Next up is the second game of the twin bill as the Yankees will send out Jordan Montgomery to face off against right-hander Glenn Otto. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15pm ET. Grab a refreshment and join us for the Yankees’ attempt at a doubleheader sweep!