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Twin bill pits Yankees’ tough rotation against struggling Angels

Apr 29, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) gets ready to pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees look to continue their winning ways and add to the Los Angeles Angels’ woes on Thursday when the teams play a split-admission doubleheader.

The Yankees belted a pair of homers to highlight their 9-1 romp over the Angels on Tuesday. New York won for the fifth time in seven games, while Los Angeles lost its season-high sixth straight and fell for the 10th time in 13 games.

Mother Nature prevented the teams from playing the second contest of their three-game set on Wednesday. The weather may not be much better on Thursday when the clubs reconvene at Yankee Stadium for games slated to begin at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m. ET.

Many things are clicking for the major-league-leading Yankees, and perhaps no area is succeeding as consistently as the club’s starting pitching.

Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes (4-1, 1.70 ERA), who was scheduled to start Wednesday’s game, will get the nod for Thursday’s opener against Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani (3-3, 3.45). New York righty Jameson Taillon (5-1, 2.49) and Los Angeles southpaw Reid Detmer (2-2, 4.65) will start the nightcap.

New York owns a 2.91 team ERA after Jordan Montgomery pitched seven innings of one-run ball and two relievers combined for two scoreless innings on Tuesday.

“It’s been huge,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of his standout rotation. “For them to be as consistent as they have and go deep in the games has been big, especially as we’ve had a couple of guys banged up in the bullpen. So for the starters to really kind of carry that load — especially in that first month as they were getting built up — has been enormous for us.”

Cortes, 27, has allowed three runs or fewer in 18 straight starts. In his latest stellar outing, at the Tampa Bay Rays on May 26, he allowed one run on four hits in a career-high eight-plus innings during a 7-2 win. He threw a career-high 109 pitches and retired 14 in a row at one point.

Cortes is making his first career start against the Angels after posting a 5.40 ERA in four relief appearances against them, including a pair of scoreless outings last June in New York.

Angels manager Joe Maddon is trying to weather the storm during the team’s losing skid.

“You have to have one thought, I think,” Maddon said. “Either you trust your people or you don’t. Either you like your guys or you don’t. I trust my guys a lot. Fortunately, we got off to a wonderful start so that you could kind of absorb a moment like this.”

Ohtani, 27, returns to the mound after allowing five runs in six innings of a 6-3 setback against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 26. He escaped with a no-decision in his lone career encounter vs. New York despite permitting seven runs on two hits with four walks in two-thirds of an inning on June 30, 2021.

Taillon, 30, scattered two hits and struck out five in eight innings of a 2-0 win at Tampa Bay on Friday. He is 1-1 with a 9.90 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.

Detmers, 22, will make his third start since throwing a no-hitter May 10 against Tampa Bay. Since his gem, Detmers has a 7.45 ERA in two starts, both against the Texas Rangers, who tagged him for five runs in six innings on May 25.

He has yet to face the Yankees in his career.

–Field Level Media