NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees ace Gerrit Cole lost a perfect game bid with two outs in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers a night after teammate Jameson Taillon lost a try in the eighth.
Cole was cruising until Jonathan Schoop placed a grounder perfectly up the middle for a clean single. The ball skipped just past diving second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who had just made a sliding, backhand stop against Harold Castro.
Cole entered the seventh with eight strikeouts on 86 pitches, half of them looking.
Taillon lost a perfect game in the eighth inning Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. Jared Walsh spoiled Taillon’s effort with a leadoff double that deflected off the glove of sliding shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
There have been 23 perfect games in major league history, including two before 1900. The most recent was thrown by Félix Hernández for the Seattle Mariners against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012 — the last of three that season.
Cole was been up to 100 mph with his fastball and supplemented it with sliders, curveballs, cutters and changeups. The 31-year-old — signed to a $324 million, nine-year deal prior to the 2020 season — has never thrown a no-hitter.
Willi Castro began the game with a routine fly to right off Cole measured at 87.3 mph, and that remained the hardest-hit ball for hapless Detroit until Harold Castro's groundout in the seventh.
Despite featuring Miguel Cabrera, Javier Báez and Spencer Torkelson, the Tigers entered Friday averaging 2.86 runs per game, fewest in the majors since the 1968 Chicago White Sox.
In fact, the best contact early for the Tigers might've come when Jeimer Candelario bowled into Cole after a groundout to end the second inning. Cole covered the bag on Candelario's roller to first, and Candelario clipped Cole's right shoulder as he ran past. Cole's hat was knocked off, and he appeared annoyed as he picked it up from the dirt.
Aaron Judge, Jose Trevino, Anthony Rizzo and Matt Carpenter each homered for New York on Friday against rookie starter Elvin Rodriguez, charged with 10 runs in his third big league start. The Yankees led 12-0 after 6 1/2 innings.
Cole is the eighth consecutive Yankees starter to cover at least six innings, the best stretch for the franchise since a nine-game streak in 2016.
There have been two no-hitters in the majors this season. The Angels' Reid Detmers did it against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 10, and five New York Mets pitchers combined for one April 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
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