That should calm down the neurotic Yankee fans.
After two straight noncompetitive losses and slipping behind the Twins in the race for the best record among second-place teams in AL, the Yankees restored order to their chaotic universe with a 12-1 drubbing of the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.
No matter how good or bad he pitches, Gerrit Cole is always the main event, but he had to share the spotlight with Gio Urshela and Aaron Hicks.
Urshela had four hits and drove in two runs, and Hicks had two hits, three RBIs, stole a base and scored twice.
Working with catcher Kyle Higashioka for a fourth straight game instead of Gary Sanchez, Cole kept his name alive in the AL Cy Young race by limiting the Blue Jays to a run and five hits in seven innings. It was Cole’s third straight start in which he went seven. His third consecutive victory hiked Cole’s record to 7-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.84.
Cole’s next outing will be Tuesday in the first game of the postseason against an opponent to be determined between the Twins and White Sox, in a city not yet known but with Higashioka likely behind the plate.
The Yankees improved to 32-23 with their 11th win in 13 games.
The Yankees tried to insert reliever Tyler Lyons into the game in the home eighth but the umpires huddled and told Lyons to get off the mound. Lyons was elevated to the major league roster earlier in the day and possibly didn’t appear on the lineup card. Zack Britton worked the eighth instead with a nine-run lead and Adam Ottavino the ninth with an 11-run cushion.
Hicks tripled a run in the first inning and delivered a two-run single in the four-run fifth. He also scored twice and stole a base.
After having two hits in their previous 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position the Yankees went 8-for-11.
In his final regular-season start, Cole didn’t face a Blue Jays batter with a runner in scoring position until the sixth, when Alejandro Kirk and Jonathan Davis opened with singles but didn’t score.
Aaron Judge talked before the game about his right calf feeling good and how he is comfortable hitting. It showed as Judge scored from first on Hicks’ triple, went 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored three runs.
“Calf feels good, no issues, I was able to run around pain-free and feeling good in the box,’’ said Judge, who had two hits in 17 at-bats entering the game. “Like I said, it was going to take me four or five games to get the timing back.’’
Urshela extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 3-for-4 night that included an RBI and Higashioka added a two-run double in a three-run eighth inning.