Even generational talents like Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout couldn't get the best of the Yankees' mustache brigade.
New York's left-hander Nestor Cortes was brilliant, as always, while Matt Carpenter—the new addition hitting leadoff on Thursday—blasted his third home run in a Yankees uniform as the Bombers cruised over the Angels in the first game of a doubleheader, 6-1.
Carpenter's solo shot set the tone, a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first on the 11th pitch of his at-bat against Ohtani. It was a no-doubter, soaring high into the second deck down the right-field line.
The reigning American League Most Valuable Player lasted just three innings, giving up home runs to Carpenter, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge.
With four earned runs allowed in three-plus innings of work on Thursday, Ohtani now has a 27.00 ERA in his career against the Yankees. Last year in the Bronx, Ohtani was chased from a game against New York before he recorded three outs, allowing seven earned runs (on two hits and four walks) in 0.2 frames.
DJ LeMahieu added New York's fourth long ball of the afternoon in the fifth. Miguel Andújar added a sacrifice fly later in the frame, scoring Aaron Hicks to give the Yankees a commanding, 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Cortes continued his remarkable and historic stretch in New York's rotation, pitching seven scoreless innings. The funky lefty hasn't given up more than three earned runs in 19 consecutive starts, the second-longest streak in franchise history, trailing only Russ Ford (who accomplished the same feat over 20 straight outings from 1910 to 1911).
These aren't quick starts either for Cortes. He's gone seven-plus innings in four of his last five outings. And talk about finishing strong, Cortes was as efficient as can be over his final two innings on Thursday, retiring six batters in just 11 pitches.
Cortes is now second in all of baseball with a 1.50 ERA. Only Texas' left-hander Martín Pérez has a lower ERA (1.42) among qualified pitchers this season.
The Angels made it interesting late in the game. Los Angeles broke through against right-hander Clarke Schmidt in the eighth, scoring their first run of the day on an RBI single from Luis Rengifo.
After loading the bases, with two men out, Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled Schmidt to summon lefty Wandy Peralta from the bullpen. Peralta was able to get out of the jam against Jared Walsh, getting the left-handed slugger to fly out to Hicks in shallow center field.
A lengthy rain delay followed. When the ballgame resumed, Peralta retired the side in the top of the ninth to seal the deal, striking out Ohtani for the final out.
New York is back in action later on Thursday night, finishing off a three-game series with Los Angeles in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
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