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Gerrit Cole goes for elusive first season win as Yankees visit Tigers

Apr 13, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA;  New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will be seeking his first victory of the season when he makes his third start on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game road series against the Detroit Tigers.

In his first outing on April 8, he gave up three runs in four innings against Boston. He wound up with another no-decision when he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings against Toronto on Wednesday.

Cole was removed after throwing 85 pitches.

“At some point we’ll be up to 115 but getting pretty deep in the game (Wednesday), I was pretty pleased with that,” Cole said.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit two home runs off Cole but the right-hander allowed just two other hits while striking out six.

“Tough lineup,” Cole said. “We executed a lot of good pitches. Didn’t get away with a few but I think the consistency is starting to come a little bit. Less pulls with the fastball. Maybe two hangers with the slider, got away with one, didn’t get away with the other.”

Cole typically enjoys success against the Tigers. In nine career starts, he has posted a 6-1 record and 1.92 ERA.

The Yankees had an off day on Monday after losing two of three games at Baltimore in a weekend series. They were shut out 5-0 on Sunday.

New York’s slugger-filled lineup has been tamed on a regular basis during the first 10 games of the season. The Yankees are averaging just three runs per game.

“We’ve got to find a way to get on the board and support our pitching,” manager Aaron Boone said.

The Tigers haven’t played since Saturday. Their weekend series finale at Kansas City on Sunday was postponed due to inclement weather.

They generated only seven runs in the first three games of that series but still came away with two victories. The Tigers were limited to four hits in a 3-1 loss on Saturday, despite drawing seven walks.

“I thought we were semi-disciplined for the most part, but we couldn’t quite get the big hit to make them pay for giving us free runners,” manager A.J. Hinch said.

Detroit will be without shortstop Javier Baez for this three-game series. He is on the 10-day injured list due to a thumb injury.

Tyler Alexander will make his second start on Tuesday. The left-hander gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings against Boston last Tuesday.

He’s made two career relief appearances against the Yankees, giving up three runs in seven innings.

Alexander might wind up in the rotation longer than expected. He was expected to fill in as the fifth starter until Michael Pineda, signed as a free agent late in training camp, was ready to start.

Pineda could make his season debut during the series, but last week the Tigers placed Casey Mize on the 10-day IL due to an elbow injury. Matt Manning left Saturday’s start after two innings due to shoulder discomfort.

“Coming on the heels of how the last 24 hours have gone, we weren’t going to take any risks whatsoever, so we got him out of the game,” Hinch said. “Hopefully, it’s just a matter of cold and him feeling a little bit fatigued or achy or whatever, but we’ll obviously get him evaluated.”

History could be made during the series. Detroit designated hitter Miguel Cabrera needs five more hits to reach the 3,000 mark.

–Field Level Media