The Yankees couldn’t even count on Gerrit Cole to keep them in a game they sorely needed to win, and the antsy Bronx fans let him know about it.
The $324 million pinstriped ace heard boos while exiting the Stadium mound Sunday after getting pelted for a season-high tying seven earned runs, as the Indians blasted the desperate Yanks for a second consecutive day 11-1 at the Stadium.
The Yanks were outscored Saturday and Sunday by Cleveland by an ugly 22-4 aggregate to fall 2 ½ games behind Boston and 1 ½ behind Toronto in the AL wild-card picture.
Aaron Boone’s team dropped to 7-11 in September and to 3-3 to start a nine-game stretch played against three sub-.500 opponents, with the Rangers coming to The Bronx for three games beginning Monday night. The six games after that will be on the road against the Red Sox and the Blue Jays before the Yanks (83-67) finish out the 162-game slate with three at home against the first-place Rays to start October.
Cole began the day in competition with Toronto’s Robbie Ray as the league’s leading Cy Young candidates, but the righty damaged his shot at his first major award by coughing up seven runs on 10 hits (his most in 40 starts as a Yankee) over 5 ²/₃ innings to raise his ERA from 2.75 to 3.03.
Cole (15-8) had pitched to a 1.35 ERA while giving up just five earned runs over his previous six outings since being activated from the COVID-19 list on Aug. 16. He matched that run total over Sunday’s first three innings, however, surrendering two runs in the first and three in the third.
Harold Ramirez accounted for four of those early RBIs, with a two-run single to right with two down in the first and another to left-center — between diving outfielders Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge — two innings later. Roberto Perez added a run-scoring single later in the third for a quick five-run hole for Cole and the Yanks.
Ramirez left the game with a right-shoulder injury after crashing into the wall on Gio Urshela’s solo homer to right in the bottom half, his 13th of the season. But Jose Ramirez tagged Cole for a leadoff homer into the second deck in right in the fifth, his 35th of the year.
Roberto Perez also went deep to open the sixth, prompting boos for Cole as he headed to the dugout when Boone replaced him with lefty Lucas Luetge later in the inning.
Cleveland added an unearned run against Luetge in the seventh after an error by third baseman DJ LeMahieu, and Jose Ramirez drove in two more runs against Clarke Schmidt with his fourth hit of the game for a 10-1 lead one inning later.
The Yanks managed just one run on six hits over six innings against Cleveland rookie Eli Morgan, who came in with a 2-7 record and a 6.03 ERA in his first 15 career starts.