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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole tests positive for COVID-19

Gerrit Cole of the Yankees delivers a pitch

Gerrit Cole of the Yankees delivers a pitch to the Rays in the first inning at Tropicana Field on July 29 in St Petersburg, Fla. Credit: Getty Images/Julio Aguilar

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not pitch on Tuesday as scheduled against the Orioles, manager Aaron Boone said on Monday night.

Boone made the announcement after the Yankees’ 7-1 loss to the Orioles. Boone said he learned of Cole’s test result during the second inning.

"Gerrit will not be pitching tomorrow," Boone said. "He’s actually tested positive for COVID. So he will not be pitching tomorrow."

Asked if anyone else has been affected, Boone said: "As of now, he’s the only one."

Cole will be placed on the COVID-19 injured list and will not be able to return to the mound until he is cleared by MLB’s COVID protocols.

Boone said Nestor Cortes Jr. "likely" will start Tuesday. The Yankees, who are trying to chase down a playoff spot, probably will have to do so without Cole for at least two starts.

"Definitely tough," Gary Sanchez said through an interpreter. "It’s been a tough year. We get this news with Cole and definitely a low blow there . . . It’s not been easy at all.

"The news is very fresh," Sanchez said. "I just learned about Cole a few minutes ago, so I’m not sure what is to follow as far as protocol, guidance and all that. Bottom line is if we have to get tested, we’ll get tested and keep battling."

Said Joey Gallo, "I just found that out just because I heard [reporters] asking Gary those questions. We’re just going to follow protocol and see where it goes from there. Obviously, hoping for the best for Gerrit.

"We do a pretty good job of keeping distance still, so I’m not too, too worried about that," Gallo said. "I’m only hoping the best for him and for our team. Hopefully there’s no other positives, but we’re going to just keep doing the protocols that they put us through and hope for the best."

The Yankees had COVID-19 outbreaks among their coaching staff in May and their active roster in July. Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela and four other players went on the COVID IL.

New York Sports