CLEVELAND (AP) — Gerrit Cole wiped out giving up back-to-back home runs and worked six strong innings, leading the New York Yankees to a 13-4 romp across the Cleveland Guardians in the first game of a split doubleheader on Saturday.
Jose Trevino also connected to Clement, giving New York a Major League-leading 131 home runs.
By winning 24 of the last 30 games, New York improved to 57-21, giving the 2001 Seattle Mariners their second-best start after 78 games since 1930. Only the 1998 Yankees (58-20) were better.
Another everyday win for the Yankees did have a glitch. Reliever Aroldis Chapman’s first Major League outing on May 22 didn’t go well.
The lefthander, who was activated Friday after being sidelined with Achilles tendonitis, came in for Cole to start the seventh and walked three in a row before being pulled away by manager Aaron Boone after 19 pitches.
This is the sixth double-header for the Rainy Guardians, and what will be their third twinbill in less than a week with another scheduled for July 4 in Detroit. Cleveland split two with Minnesota on Tuesday.
LeMahieu delivered New York’s four-run third with his eighth homer, hitting the seats in rightfield.
McCarty then ran into problems with a few walks before Miguel Andújar, recalled as the 27th man for the doubleheader, delivered an RBI single and Aaron Hicks singled in two to make it 4-2.
Naylor and Reyes delivered their home runs in a four-pitch span off Cole in the third.
Naylor, who hit a dramatic walk-off earlier this week to beat Minnesota in extra innings, drove his 10th homer into the center bullpen. Reyes followed with a shot from the opposite field to the right for his fifth.
The Yankees added four runs in the sixth on Carpenter’s seventh homer and a two-run single by Gleyber Torres.
TO CHANGE GEAR
The Yankees performed a unique shift on Guardians star José Ramírez twice, moving shortstop Marwin Gonzalez to center left. Ramírez struckout and walked in those two at bats.
Boone enjoyed watching two members of the team’s staff don Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo’s uniforms and slide their heads forward across the infield tarp after Friday’s game was called.
Rizzo came up with the joke.
“It picked up steam pretty quickly and then it became a fun team event,” said Boone, who didn’t know the payout for the joke.
For the second time this week, Clement was used to relieve. After allowing a shot from Carpenter, Trevino followed by striking off the righthander, who threw nothing but rubbish during his outing.
Guardians: Rookie OF Oscar Gonzalez was placed on the injured list with an intercostal (rib) strain. He reported no problems until Thursday and an MRI revealed the strain. Gonzalez will be shut down for at least a week. … RHP James Karinchak (shoulder strain) was activated from the 60-day IL and optional to Triple-A Columbus. The Guardians were encouraged by two recent outings that wanted him to be consistent.
Aaron Civale (2-4, 7.20 ERA) was set to start on Friday and the Guardians gave him the opportunity to pitch both games. The righthander was tagged on April 24 for six runs in three innings against the Yankees. He takes on Nestor Cortes from New York (6-3, 2.51).
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