Gerrit Cole shined in his return with the Yankees

Gerrit Cole shined in his return with the Yankees
Gerrit Cole shined in his return with the Yankees

NEW YORK — The Yankees, the best team in the Major Leagues, have their ace back on the mound, who shone once again Wednesday night against the Orioles in the Bronx.

Gerrit Cole allowed two earned runs in just over four innings of work in which he struck out five batters and walked one. He seemed to gain confidence and speed as the game progressed, even convincing manager Aaron Boone to allow him to come out in the fifth inning.

Cole looked most impressive in the third inning, striking out Jorge Mateo to start the inning, then overcame a walk to Gunnar Henderson and a stolen base by striking out Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle, the latter with a poisonous 89-mile slider. per hour. Cole’s speed was at his lifetime level, peaking at 97.5 mph on the day.

It was the first start of the 2024 season for the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, who had been on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow soreness. Cole made three rehab starts in the minor leagues and looked sharp in all of them, so the Yankees considered that he was ready to return to the Major Leagues. However, they will be cautious with Cole at first, as the veteran is not yet ready for a full workload.

The rotation Cole is reintegrating into has been a strength for the Yankees all season, even without their leader. Entering Wednesday’s game, New York was 51-24, the best in the majors, largely due to its 3.38 runs per game allowed, the best average in the majors.

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