NEW YORK – Gerrit Cole pitched perfectly into the seventh inning a night after teammate Jameson Taillon lost his bid in the eighth, Aaron Judge homered and had four hits, and the Yankees thumped the Detroit Tigers 13-0 Friday.
The Yankees are the first team with consecutive perfect-game bids of six innings or more since at least 1961, according to Elias Sports Bureau data.
“I have to stop looking up in the sixth,” catcher Jose Trevino joked. “I mean, every time.”
Jonathan Schoop spoiled Cole’s perfect night with two outs in the seventh. Schoop’s grounder skipped up the middle, just past the mitt of diving second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who made a sliding stop against Harold Castro for the second out.
Cole (5-1) got an ovation from the 42,026 fans at Yankee Stadium, some of whom surely were on hand a night earlier when Taillon lost a perfect game in the eighth against the Los Angeles Angels. Jared Walsh spoiled Taillon’s effort with a leadoff double that deflected off the glove of sliding shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
“I heard them chanting my name, which was pretty magical,” Cole said.
Cole was pulled after seven scoreless innings with two hits allowed and nine strikeouts on 102 pitches. He grabbed a video tablet in the dugout as soon as he finished the seventh and appeared to replay Schoop’s hit several times.
“Got to the corner, but not quite as much break as we would’ve liked,” Cole said of the pitch.
There have been 23 perfect games in major league history, including two before 1900. The most recent was thrown by Felix Hernandez for the Seattle Mariners against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012 – the last of three that season.
Cole overpowered the hapless Tigers with a fastball up to 100 mph, dominating a team that entered Friday averaging 2.86 runs per game, worst in the majors since the 1968 White Sox.
“He was in complete control of virtually every at-bat,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch told reporters.
Willi Castro began the game with a routine fly to right measured at 87.3 mph, and that remained the hardest-hit ball for Detroit until Castro’s groundout in the seventh.
In fact, the best contact early for the Tigers might’ve come when Jeimer Candelario bowled into Cole after a groundout to end the second inning. Cole covered the bag on Candelario’s roller to first, and Candelario clipped Cole’s right shoulder as he ran past. Cole’s hat was knocked off, and he appeared annoyed as he picked it up from the dirt.
Cole is the eighth consecutive Yankees starter to cover at least six innings, the best stretch for the franchise since a nine-game streak in 2016. The 31-year-old – who was signed to a $ 324 million, nine-year deal prior to the 2020 season – has never thrown a no-hitter.
“I think anytime you’re a close-knit group like those guys are and you’re challenging each other and learning from one another, I think that environment is one that you have a better chance to thrive in,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “So I think that’s happening.”
Cole redeemed himself for a miserable outing April 19 at Detroit, where he matched a career high with five walks and allowed two runs while lasting just 1⅔ innings.