Houston Astros 4, NY Yankees 1
When: 4:08 PM ET, Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
By Field Level Media
NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole dodged trouble at times and pitched seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees 4-1 on Tuesday to take a 2-1 series lead in the American League Championship Series.
Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Wednesday night, but heavy rain is in the forecast. A rainout would push the games back to Thursday and Friday.
Cole (1-0) won his third consecutive start in this year’s postseason by holding the Yankees to four hits. The right-hander, who was drafted by the Yankees in the first round in 2008 but did not sign, struck out seven and issued a career-high-tying five walks while throwing 112 pitches.
“Fastball command was a bit of a struggle, and for some reason it wasn’t early in the inning, it was more late in the inning,” Cole said. “I don’t really have a reason for that right now, but I know it will be better next time.
“But we needed to score a few runs tonight, we needed to play some sharp D, especially towards the end of the game. Again the interior defense, can’t speak enough of it.”
Cole improved to 4-1 in the playoffs with the Astros. He won his team-record 19th straight decision over a 25-game stretch since May 27 in which he has a 1.59 ERA.
Astros manager AJ Hinch said of Cole, “It’s a lot of what I’ve seen this entire year. He’s exceptional. And he gets better and better and better. …
“And he was able to manage his game at the beginning of the game and avoid the bad pitch. He had a couple of walks that — they’re not all bad walks. He kind of knows what he’s doing out there and how to navigate around certain things. But a big night and clearly our team really does respond when we know he’s pitching.”
The Astros backed Cole with early homers off Luis Severino (0-1) as Jose Altuve connected two batters in and Josh Reddick went deep leading off the second.
Houston added two runs in the seventh when Altuve scored on a wild pitch by Zack Britton and Yuli Gurriel lifted a sacrifice fly.
The Yankees threatened in the first, second, fourth and fifth against Cole, putting at least two runners on base in each of those innings.
Cole opened the game by allowing consecutive singles to DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge and then walked Gleyber Torres to load the bases with two outs. However, he retired Didi Gregorius on an inning-ending grounder.
In the second, he struck out Judge to strand two runners, and in the fourth, he retired LeMahieu on a fly ball to the center field warning track with two on. The Yankees nearly took the lead in the fifth, but Gregorius flied out to right field on a ball that was inches away from being a three-run homer.
“It’s obviously a little frustrating we weren’t able to break through (against Cole),” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But I think up and down we gave ourselves a chance. And anytime you’re facing a guy like that, you want that kind of traffic. And we had that in several innings. He made big pitches when he had to.”
Cole breezed through his final two innings and needed only 10 pitches in the seventh. The Yankees finally scored when Torres hit a one-out homer in the eighth off Joe Smith.
Will Harris easily finished the eighth, and Roberto Osuna tossed a perfect ninth for the save.
Severino allowed two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.
–Field Level Media