NEW YORK—Gerrit Cole struck out 13 and walked none over seven scoreless innings in his most dominant start since joining the New York Yankees, overwhelming the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 Tuesday night for his first win this season.
Cole (1-0) allowed four hits, three of them singles, in the type of the performance that showed why the Yankees made him baseball’s highest-paid pitcher in December 2019 with a $324 million, nine-year contract.
Jay Bruce backed him with his first Yankees home run, a solo shot in the second off Dean Kremer (0-1), and Aaron Judge added a three-run homer in the eighth.
New York has won a team-record 12 straight home games against the Orioles since May 2019, outscoring Baltimore 76-28. It moved above .500 for first time this year at 3-2.
Pitching with long sleeves on a night with a gametime temperature of 68, Cole threw 71 of 97 pitches for strikes. The 30-year-old right-hander induced 23 swinging strikes and got 17 called strikes from plate umpire Marty Foster.
After Gary Sánchez caught the first four games, Kyle Higashioka caught Cole, as he did during last year’s playoffs.
Lucas Luetge allowed Rui Ruiz’s two-run homer with two outs in the ninth after Ryan Mountcastle beat a two-out single on a call upheld in a video review.
Bruce led off the second with a Bronx special into the right-field short porch that traveled just 354 feet. New York’s first baseman while Luke Voit recovers from knee surgery, Bruce was moved up to No. 3 in the batting order in place of slumping center fielder Aaron Hicks, who got the night off.
Bruce saved a run in the first, throwing out speedy Cedric Mullins trying to score from third on Anthony Santander’s one-hopper with the infield in.
Kremer allowed three runs, five hits and four walks in three-plus innings.
Orioles pitchers struggled with control for the second straight night. They have walked 12 in the series.
Adam Plutko, who was teammates with Cole and Trevor Bauer at UCLA in 2011, gave up DJ LeMahieu’s run-scoring double-play grounder and Judge’s RBI single. Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI double in the seventh off Tyler Wells, and Judge went deep against Wade LeBlanc.