Orioles overcome 3-run deficit vs. Gerrit Cole, beat Yankees 6-3

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BALTIMORE — Gerrit Cole failed to hold a three-run lead, reliever Albert Abreu‘s wild pickoff throw led to Cedric Mullins‘ go-ahead sacrifice fly and the Baltimore Orioles rallied past the New York Yankees 6-3.

Ramon Urias added a two-run homer in the eighth off Shane Greene, who made his first appearance for the Yankees since he was a rookie in 2014.

“Gerrit Cole is a great pitcher,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I was really pleased with our at-bats early even though we didn’t score any runs. We made him work. We had a couple of chances and we didn’t score. We finally got to him, and as an ace does, he stayed out there and we were fortunate to tie it with him out there.”

New York went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees have lost three of four and eight of 12 in their poorest stretch this year and at 65-31 dropped just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (63-30) for the best record in the major leagues.

“That’s frustrating,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We had chances to really pull away. A ton of traffic. A lot of good at-bats up and down the lineup, but just not able to break through or get that big extra-base hit with guys on base.”

Aaron Judge tied a career-high with four hits and had two RBIs to take over the big league lead with 79. He is 20 for his last 54, raising his average to .292.

Matt Carpenter hit his 14th home run in 89 at-bats for the Yankees this season.

Urias went 3 for 4 and has six multihit games since being reinstated from the injured list on July 4.

“We just stick together,” Urias said. “We’ve been doing it all season. We fight through the whole game and we don’t give up. that’s huge for us.”

Cionel Perez (5-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and Jorge Lopez got his 18th save in 22 chances. After New York’s first two batters reached in the ninth, Anthony Rizzo grounded out, Gleyber Torres flied out to Ryan McKenna, who made a nice running grab in short right, and Josh Donaldson took a called third strike.

Cole (9-3) allowed four runs – three earned -and nine hits in six innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

“A little unfortunate that they just found some holes,” Cole said. “It was a good pitch to Mullins, good pitch to Mateo, not a good pitch to Urias but bad contact. That’s their game. They don’t swing and miss a whole lot. They’re really tough to strike out. They’re shifty with their aggressiveness and they put the ball in play.”

Judge’s RBI double in the first, Carpenter’s homer over the right-field scoreboard in the second and Judge’s bloop RBI single in the fourth built a 3-0 lead.

Jorge Mateo, who leads the AL with 23 steals, singled, stole second and scored on Mullins’ single in the fifth. Mullins stole second and scored on a double by rookie Adley Rutschman. Mateo tied in the score in the seventh with an RBI single on a 1-2 slider.

Abreu relieved and threw past first for an error as Mateo took third and Mullins followed with a sacrifice fly.

“As soon as the ball bounced, I immediately thought third base all the way,” Mateo said.

Urias homered off Greene, who was brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Michael King‘s season-ending elbow injury on Friday night. Now 33, Greene was dealt to Detroit after the 2014 season as part of the three-team trade that brought New York shortstop Didi Gregorius.

MOVES

Yankees: RHP Clarke Schmidt was recalled from Scranton. . RHP Shane Greene was signed from RailRiders. . RHP Tim Locastro was optioned to the RailRiders.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: King fractured his right elbow throwing a pitch in the eighth inning Friday night. He was 6-3 with one save and a 2.29 ERA in 34 games, striking out 66 in 51 innings.

UP NEXT??

Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (7-3, 2.63 ERA) has made six starts in which he’s thrown six or more innings and allowed one or fewer runs.

Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (3-1, 2.59 ERA) has gone 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA in five starts against the Yankees.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.