Yankees’ Gerrit Cole ‘ambushed’ by Red Sox

Gerrit Cole’s much-discussed spin rates ticked upward on all four of his pitches Sunday, but the Red Sox sent three balls spinning over the varied-sized walls at Fenway Park in the ace’s worst outing of the season.

Cole was tagged for two home runs in the first inning and three in all in spotting the Red Sox a quick six-run lead in what turned out to be a series-sweeping 9-2 loss in Boston.

The $324 million righty admittedly didn’t have much command of his slider or his four-seamer from the start, coughing up a first-pitch homer to leadoff batter Kiké Hernandez and a three-run bomb to the right-field bleachers by Rafael Devers (four RBIs) on a 101 mph fastball.

“Yeah, you hit the nail on the head right there, I couldn’t get the breaking ball down, couldn’t get the fastball where we wanted to,” Cole said. “I tried to make a good pitch to Devers and absolutely pulled it into the wrong part of the zone.

“The first pitch of the game was poorly located, as well, and he put a good swing on it, so a bit of credit to Kiké there. … As the game went on, I think things started to progress a little better, but at that point, much of the damage had been done.”

Cole, who was checked by the umps for foreign substances following the 26-pitch inning, gave up two more runs in the third, including a dead-center blast by J.D. Martinez.

Yankees lose Red Sox Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole crouches behind the mound after giving up a three-run homer to the Red Sox’s Rafael Devers on June 27, 2021.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I think from the beginning, his stuff wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen. But I thought as the game went on, he got a lot better,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “In the end, it came down to a couple of pitches. It obviously didn’t go our way today, but I expect him to bounce back.”

The outing marked the first time the 30-year-old Cole has surrendered at least six runs — although one was unearned — in 31 starts (playoffs included) over two seasons with the Yankees. The three homers also matched a career high done three previous times, most recently last August against Atlanta.

“Obviously, he gets ambushed there on the first pitch, middle-in, and [Hernandez] was hunting it and got it,” Aaron Boone said. “And obviously the big blow was the Devers one. [Cole] was trying to go up and away with the fastball and he pulled it into his barrel there, and he didn’t miss it.

“That crooked number was hard for us to overcome. I thought he settled in and got in a pretty good rhythm in the middle innings, but we dug ourselves a hole again.”

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