Cole whiffs Donaldson, pitches streaking Yanks past Twins

MLB Baseball

NEW YORK (AP)Gerrit Cole struck out Josh Donaldson with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning and got through the sixth throwing shutout ball, and the New York Yankees beat the Minnestoa Twins 7-1 Saturday for their season-high ninth straight win.

Giancarlo Stanton had a two-run double during a five-run fifth and Luke Voit remained red hot as the Yankees moved to 21-5 since dropping three of four at Boston in late July.

Bronx-raised Yankees infielder Andrew Velazquez hit his first career homer in the eighth inning, bringing his family in the stands to tears. The 27-year-old journeyman has been staying with his parents since being promoted from Triple-A on July 9.

Tyler Wade accounted for New York’s first two runs by hitting an RBI single off Kenta Maeda (6-5) and scoring on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Cole (12-6) dominated in his second start since a bout with a mild symptoms of COVID-19. He allowed five hits and turned in his fifth scoreless outing this season, walking one and striking out six.

The right-hander ran into trouble in the fifth by allowing one-out singles to Willians Astudillo and Andrelton Simmons and then a walk to Max Kepler.

After a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, he punched out Jorge Polanco on a 99 mph fastball, then got Donaldson on a called third strike. Donaldson briefly questioned the call on the low changeup before heading to the dugout.

Donaldson pushed Cole into an unwanted spotlight earlier this season by calling out the Yankees ace by name when discussing pitchers he suspected of using illicit grip enhancers. Cole struck out Donaldson twice in an outing days later and did the same Saturday.

The Yankees won their second straight game by at least five runs after playing 13 of 14 decided by three runs or fewer.

Polanco homered for the Twins, who are 2-17 in their last 19 games at Yankee Stadium.

Maeda allowed five runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He exited with right forearm tightness after throwing a 1-0 pitch to Stanton. After throwing his ninth straight pitch out of the strike zone, Maeda bent over, grimaced and was checked by a trainer before being replaced by Edgar Garcia.

The Yankees took a 4-0 lead when Stanton lined a double to left and went up 6-0 on Voit’s double to left after Aaron Judge was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Rougned Odor.

Voit had two hits and two RBIs a night after a four-hit game. The slugging first baseman recently made a public plea for more playing time amid a roster crunch created by three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo’s return from the COVID-19 injured list. Voit is batting .500 (13 for 26) with three homers and 13 RBIs in his past seven starts.

ODOR’S NEAR HOME RUN

Odor nearly gave the Yankees a 9-0 lead when he appeared to homer over the right-center field fence. Odor’s homer did not count because he called timeout.

Umpire Angel Hernandez walked away from home plate and frantically waved his arms, but Ralph Garza Jr. threw the pitch.

After manager Aaron Boone came out for a quick discussion, Odor struck out and briefly questioned Hernandez before returning to the dugout.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: OF Byron Buxton (fractured left hand) went 0 for 2 in his first rehab game with Triple-A St. Paul on Friday and was scheduled for a recovery day.

Yankees: OF Brett Gardner was held out of the lineup after getting hit in the right elbow Friday and OF Estevan Florial was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. … RHP Domingo German (right shoulder inflammation) will play catch early next week. He experienced soreness Thursday following a bullpen session Wednesday. … RHP Luis Severino (right shoulder tightness) will meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in the middle of next week. A second opinion earlier this week did not find any structural damage.

Minnesota RHP Griffin Jax (3-1, 5.11 ERA) opposes New York RHP Luis Gill (1-0, 0.00) though heavy rain is forecasted for Sunday.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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