New York Yankees' Matt Carpenter is congratulated in the dugout...

New York Yankees' Matt Carpenter is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Anthony Gose in the sixth inning on July 2, 2022. Credit: AP/David Dermer

CLEVELAND — And then there are the times you absolutely can predict baseball.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound and their powerful offense facing a rookie with suspect stuff in Kirk McCarty, it seemed to portend well for the Yankees in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Guardians.

Shaking off back-to-back homers by Josh Naylor and Franmil Reyes in the second inning, Cole got more than enough offensive support — including two homers by Matt Carpenter and one each by DJ LeMahieu and Jose Trevino — as the Yankees coasted to a 13-4 victory in front of 21,203 at Progressive Field.

Riding six brilliant innings from Nestor Cortes and back-to-back homers by Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton, they completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-1 win in front of 29,236. That improved them to a season-high 37 games over .500 at 58-21.

“It’s not easy,” Aaron Boone said of sweeping a doubleheader. “It’s the highest league in the land. It’s hard to win any game. It’s definitely hard to win two in a day.”

Between games, Boone provided some insight into his club after the Yankees improved to 16-5 this season after a loss.

“I feel like they handle wins and losses well, but I also think they get [ticked] off when they lose,” he said. “They take it a little bit personal.”

The Yankees banged out 14 hits — three each by Carpenter and Gleyber Torres and two apiece by LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks — in the afternoon game and drew seven walks. LeMahieu, Torres and Hicks each reached base four times.

“We just don’t like losing, that’s what it comes down to,” said Hicks, who was in a 2-for-24 slide entering the day.

The Yankees again provided plenty of offensive support in Game 2 as Cortes (7-3, 2.44) allowed one run and three hits in six innings. After allowing a homer by Cleveland’s second hitter of the night, Amed Rosario, Cortes retired the next 13 Guardians batters.

“Just getting back to what made me successful the first 12 or 13 starts,” said Cortes, who had a 5.68 ERA in his previous four starts. “I was able to throw it to the correct spots today.”

Rizzo (No. 22) and Stanton (No. 20) went back-to-back in the fourth against Aaron Civale (2-5, 7.04) as the Yankees took a 2-1 lead.

The Yankees, who totaled seven hits in the second game, had their third four-run inning of the day in the seventh to blow it open at 6-1. Josh Donaldson had an RBI double and Isiah Kiner-Falefa added an RBI single in the inning.

With the bases loaded in the seventh, Michael King struck out pinch hitter Richie Palacios to escape the jam. Wandy Peralta loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth and Clay Holmes retired Steven Kwan on a grounder for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Most of the Yankees’ highlights of the day/night came in Game 1, with Carpenter continuing his ridiculous start as a Yankee. Since being brought aboard in late May, he has eight homers, 17 RBIs and a .902 slugging percentage in 41 at-bats as a Yankee despite sporadic playing time.

“It never seems like he needs time to adjust when he gets back in,” said Cole, familiar with Carpenter from the pair’s extensive time together in the National League. “And I said this [before], he’s one of the top guys in the league with knowledge of the strike zone.”

The lefty-swinging Carpenter, a Cardinal from 2011-21, seemingly has been pinching himself since joining the Yankees.

“I feel like a little kid every time I put the [Yankees] uniform on,” he said after Game 1. “I mean, I wouldn’t have imagined it to be like it has, but at the same time, the last two years, I was very public about just my swing was not good. Now I was able to fix it. I felt like I knew I could come and produce at a good level. I wouldn’t have, obviously, expected this, but I was confident with where my swing was that I would be able to be an above-average major-league player again.”

After LeMahieu’s eighth homer jump-started a four-run third that included a two-out RBI single by Miguel Andujar and Hicks’ two-run single, the Yankees scored four more in the sixth against lefty Anthony Gose, a former outfielder for the Blue Jays and Tigers from 2012-16. Carpenter hit a two-run homer and Torres added a two-out, two-run single for an 8-2 lead.

The Yankees made it 10-2 in the seventh on Carpenter’s RBI single and Trevino’s double-play grounder. Carpenter and Trevino homered in the ninth on consecutive lob pitches from infielder-outfielder Ernie Clement.

Cole (7-2, 2.99), who had a 0.89 ERA in his previous three starts, wasn’t as sharp but still was fine. He allowed two runs, three hits and three walks in six innings, striking out six.

His counterpart, rookie Kirk McCarty, informed after Friday’s rainout that he would be coming up from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday’s first game, predictably was overmatched. McCarty, who allowed five runs (four earned) and eight hits in four innings in his only other big-league start, was hit hard in five innings in which he allowed four runs, six hits and four walks.

The Guardians (39-35) actually led 2-0 after Naylor and Reyes (on a 3-and-0 pitch) hit back-to-back homers in the second inning. Cole allowed one hit the rest of the way, allowing the Yankees’ offense to take over.

“Just a well-played game by the boys,” Cole said. “Top-notch all the way to the end.”

That ended up holding true for Game 2 as well.




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