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Yankees Open Series with a Win in Baltimore, Kriske Makes MLB Debut

FINAL: Yankees 9 Orioles 3

WP: Cole (2-0)

LP: Wojciechowski (0-1)

It’s been a wild few days for the Yankees who just a day ago thought they would be at Yankee Stadium for their home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. But instead, it’s a two game-series against the Orioles in Baltimore that the Yankees Opened with a 9-3 Win. Gerrit Cole  (2-0) got the Win for the Yankees (3-1), while Asher Wojciechowski (0-1) got the loss for the Orioles (2-2).

Aaron Boone stated after the game that the team’s mindset was really good and that getting into Baltimore at a decent hour last night and being able to workout was really important.

Game Recap:

DJ LaMaheiu got the Yankees off to a quick start in the first inning with a second-pitch lead-off home run off of Wojciechowski to give the Yankees the quick 1-0 lead over the Orioles.

Later in the first inning, after two catchers interferences by Orioles’ catcher, Pedro Severino, Mike Ford came up with bases loaded and hit a sacrifice fly that scored Aaron Judge to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

Gerrit Cole would take the mound for the Yankees in the bottom of the first. It was a shaky start for Cole, who would walk his first batter, and then give up an RBI double to Jose Iglesias of the Orioles and the Orioles would make up a run and decrease the Yankees lead to 2-1. Cole would later get out of the inning.

The Yankees would then increase their lead in the top of the third inning off of the bat of Aaron Judge, who hit a solo home run to increase the Yankees lead to 3 to 1. He would be followed up two-batters later by Aaron Hicks, who hit a 2-run home run and extended the Yankees lead to 5 to 1.

DJ LaMaheiu would then get his second of four hits tonight in the fourth inning, and it was a two-out double. However, the Yankees would not take advantage of it in that inning.

Fast forward to the top of the sixth inning, DJ “The Machine” LaMahieu would hit an RBI single that scored Mike Ford to extend the Yankees lead to 6-1. That would be LaMahieu’s third hit of the night. Later in the same inning, Aaron Judge would collect an RBI single on a line drive to centerfield that scored Gio Urshela. That run would extend the Yankees lead to 7-1 over the Orioles.

Cole would then surrender two runs in the seventh to the Orioles off the bat of Smith, who hit a 2-run home run to bring the score to 7-3.

Luis Avilan replaced Cole in the 7th inning, and Chad Greene would pitch the 8th inning for the Yankees.

In the ninth inning, the Yankees would tack on two more runs, an RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton that scored DJ LaMaheiu, and a passed ball by Pedro Severino that would allow Aaron Judge to score.

Brooks Kriske would then make his Major League Debut for the Yankees to close out a Yankees 9-3 win over the Orioles. Kriske would strike out two in his MLB debut.

Post-Game Interviews

After tonight’s game, Manager Aaron Boone, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, DJ LaMahieu, and Brooks Kriske met with the media in the Yankees’ Zoom Room.

Boone started off speaking about Cole’s outing. Cole went a total of 6.2 IP, giving up just four hits, three earned runs, three walks, and one home run. He collected seven strikeouts over 102 pitches thrown tonight.

Aaron Boone stated that after the first inning he was really in-tune with his delivery and got on the same page and in a solid rhythm with Gary Sanchez. Boone said Cole got really locked in, threw the slider well, mixed in some good curveballs and changeups, and overall started throwing the ball where he wanted to toward the middle innings of the game.

Gerrit Cole stated after the game that he felt like he and Gary Sanchez were on the same page a lot and were executing a lot of pitches well. “We had a good mix of pitches,” stated Cole, who said he got into a rhythm after the first inning.

Cole was visibly upset after the first inning, Boone stating he was primarily upset about walking the lead-off batter and that he didn’t have much to say except he was frustrated by that and the pitch to Iglesias that led to an RBI double. Cole stated that he was only upset with the one pitch to Iglesias and thought he could’ve challenged the lead-off player over the plate more.

Cole would throw a total of 102 pitches tonight. Boone spoke on Cole’s seventh inning where he got two quick outs and then gave up three extra base hits. Cole was replaced by Luis Avilan in the 7th. Boone stated that he came in and went over the lineup card after coming out of the game. Cole stating that he threw a good pitch to Nunez, but Nunez got a good swing off; he threw a bad pitch to Stewart, who got a good swing off, and he threw a good pitch to Severino, who snuck the ball just down the line.

Overall, Boone stated that Cole threw the ball really well tonight and that he does a great job of balancing intensity with being able to keep himself under control. Boone stating that he is approachable throughout the game and likes the dialogue he has with Gary Sanchez and Matt Blake.

Gerrit Cole stated that overall, he was happy with the outing and executed more pitches than not. He stated that it was a big step forward getting over 100 pitches and that he’s been liking everything relative to his last start and that he’s been seeing steady improvement. “I was pleased with the inning, it just didn’t end on a high note,” Cole said of the 7th inning.

Cole was asked how he was able to perform so well considering all of the changes of the week and not knowing where they were going. Cole stating that Gary Sanchez was a huge help for him this situation in that he knows the Orioles relaly well and that with it being the fifth time he and Gary worked together, that they had really good communication and were flowing really well. Cole stating that they were able to stay ahead of the Orioles a lot of the time and executed some pitches in good spots. Cole stated that tonight was a good example of having to just go with the flow and that even though they had nothing to do with Miami, their schedule was still impacted. Cole stating that this is a good wake-up call for the league and that the virus affects more than just one club with a situation like this week in Miami and that it has a ripple affect with other clubs as well. He reiterated that as players, the Yankees adjusted well and plan to move forward as expected. He stated that as a team, they were all just thrilled to play and that anyone would rather play than not play.

Aaron Judge also spoke about Cole, saying all you need to do is get him one run and that it’s automatic for him and he has a whole game plan for the game. “It’s fun to watch him go out and do his thing,” stated Judge.

DJ LaMahieu also spoke on Cole’s performance, stating that he looked really good tonight and looked himself, and really great on the mound.

Aaron Boone’s also spoke tonight about DJ LaMahieu and his four-for-five performance tonight, stating that he had a lot of good at bats tonight and really set the tone with the home run and then kept adding on after that.

Aaron Judge also spoke on DJ LaMahieu’s performance, stating that he really set the tone for the team and amped up the offense. Judge saying that he’s been seeing LaMahieu do that for a while now and that he’s always been the Yankees’ table setter. “That’s DJ, that’s what he does,” stated Judge, who said it’s good to have him back and leading off and that he was not surprised that LaMahieu was able to settle into the batters box the way he did and that he’s glad he took his time to get right when he came back and that he’s producing like he is now. Judge calling it an “impressive” night for LaMahieu.

Aaron Judge was also asked about the past 48 to 72 hours, stating that everyone was on the same page. It was either sit and wait, or play some baseball, and that it was a unanimous decision as a team to play baseball. Judge stating that the team was prepared for something like this to happen, and that that is the team’s mindset, to always be ready to play. Judge stating they’ll be ready to get back out there tomorrow and then look forward to getting home for their home opener Friday against the Red Sox.

DJ LaMahieu also spoke on staying ready, saying that they knew as an organization that stuff like this was going to pop up and that everyone was just ready to get on the field again.

Brooks Kriske also met with the media following tonight’s game, in which he made his Major League Debut, pitching 1 inning and striking out two.

Kriske stating he was really excited to get out there and that it wasn’t as much nerves as it was excitement for him tonight. He stated that just two years ago he wasn’t sure he would ever see this night, and that tonight was a special culmination of the work and the people around him and supporting him all the time. Kriske stated that he stayed ready all through the quarantine and summer camp and is the type to always be moving around and stretching.

He stated he knew that in any situation he could be going in. Kriske stating that he stayed locked in the whole time.

After the game, he said his phone was a little crazy, with friends and family congratulating him. He stated he’s been lucky to have a lot of people in his corner during this journey.

Speaking on a special memory he will keep from tonight, he stated that closing it out and getting the win for his team is his highlight. Kriske stating that he’s here to get outs when the team needs outs and that getting the win at the end of the game was the main thing.

Kriske did say he is keeping his first strikeout ball and that Gerrit Cole gave him the lineup card, and that he will be getting his jersey for his parents.

The Yankees came away tonight victorious by a score of 9-3. They will close out their two-game series against the Orioles tomorrow night at 7:05 pm at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Coverage starts at 6:00 pm on YES Netowrk.

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