BALTIMORE — Nestor Cortes didn’t mind the heat. The Yankees southpaw took to the mound with a first-pitch temperature of 97 degrees and got to work. Cortes gave the Bombers six scoreless innings as they rallied from a bad loss in a sweaty slog on Saturday night to beat the Orioles 6-0 on Camden yards.
The Yankees won their second of five games since the All-Star Break. They clinched the series and finished the season streak with Baltimore 11-5. While the Dodgers passed the Yankees for the best record in baseball due to the loss to the Orioles on Saturday night, they retained the best record in the American League. That’s the Bombers’ goal for the second half of the season, to stay ahead of the Astros, to have home-court advantage in the playoffs.
In his first start after making his first All-Star appearance, Cortes scattered six hits and didn’t walk a batter. He struck out seven. It was the 15th of his 18 starts this season that he allowed three earned runs or less, his fifth scoreless outing of the season. It was the second time this season he had held the Orioles scoreless.
It was just what the Yankees needed after allowing the Orioles to come back from a three-point deficit and beat them on Saturday night.
Aaron Judge smashed his third home run in the series and his 37th-place finish in the major league season. His 456-foot, two-run shot in the third inning went well through the reshaped left-field wall that was pushed back 26.5 feet and increased to 13 feet this winter. It was Judge’s seventh home run in the last nine games and his 81st RBI of the season.
Jose Trevino had a career high for hits, going 4 for 4 with an RBI. He is only the sixth Yankees catcher to have four hits in a game and the first since Gary Sanchez in 2019. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games, tying a season-high streak established by DJ LeMahieu, who chose to extend his streak of reaching base in 25 consecutive starts. LeMahieu’s double led in the Yankees’ first inning
Clarke Schmidt, called up Saturday after the Yankees lost Michael King to a broken elbow Friday night, gave the Yankees three scoreless innings.
Aaron Hicks, who had two hits, left the game in the top of the ninth inning with an apparent calf injury. In his previous at bat, Hicks had apparently polished the leg on a big swing as Yankees manager Aaron Boone and a coach came to check on him.