Cristian Javier #53 of the Houston Astros reacts after the...

Cristian Javier #53 of the Houston Astros reacts after the final out of the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

After having his no-hit effort broken up in the eighth inning in his previous start, Gerrit Cole good-naturedly dismissed a question about having “no-hit stuff.”

“I thought I had good stuff,” he said with a smile. “I’ve never thrown a no-hitter so I can’t tell you what no-hit stuff looks like.”

To their chagrin, the Yankees’ ace and his teammates discovered exactly what it looks like Saturday afternoon.

Three Astros pitchers, starting with righty Cristian Javier,  teamed up to no-hit the Yankees in Houston's 3-0 victory in on a 90-degree afternoon in the Bronx.

Javier carried the bulk of that load, striking out 13, walking one and throwing a career-high 115 pitches in seven innings. Hector Neris walked two in the eighth and Ryan Pressly worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save, fanning two to give the three Astros  15 strikeouts.

“Just a tough one for the boys in general,” said former Astro Cole (6-2, 2.99), who allowed one run and four hits in seven innings in which he struck out eight and walked two. “I thought we played every pitch today. We played really sharp defense, we pitched well pretty much, for the most part. Obviously, the cold, hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed. Credit to the opponent, absolutely for sure. Magical day for them.”

The Astros (45-26)  didn’t get their first hit until Jake Myers’ two-out single in the fifth. The only run allowed by Cole came on J.J. Matijevic’s 403-foot home run into the second deck with two outs in the seventh. In the eighth, Jose Altuve hit his 14th homer, a 404-foot shot into the second deck in leftfield off Michael  King.

 The Yankees are 11-for-92 in the series — 7-for-87 aside from their 4-for-5 outburst in a four-run ninth inning Thursday night.

“[Javier] was just really good with his fastball. We just couldn’t seem to get on time with it all day. He was dominant today,” said Aaron Boone, whose team came into the day leading MLB in homers (118), OPS (.765) and runs (361). “Any time somebody shuts us down, it’s impressive. You have to tip your cap sometimes. I thought he was really, really sharp.”

The Yankees (52-20), who were last no-hit on June 11, 2003, at the Stadium — by six Astros pitchers — lost consecutive games for the first time since May 28-29 at Tropicana Field against the Rays.

Matijevic, who made his big-league debut on April 22, was sitting fastball in the seventh after watching a 97-mph fastball come in low for a ball. He pounced on the next pitch, a 100-mph heater on the inner half of the plate, and delivered his second homer of the season. Cole, seemingly having an idea of where the ball might end up, immediately bent to one knee upon contact.

“We made one mistake,” catcher Jose Trevino said.

Said Cole: “The first pitch was down in the dirt, I tried to make an adjustment and I obviously overcorrected and threw the pitch into an area that he was obviously anticipating, or he wasn’t going to be late on.”

Neris walked Aaron Hicks to start the eighth but Matt Carpenter, pinch hitting for  Trevino, flied to left. DJ LeMahieu, pinch hitting for Marwin Gonzalez, got ahead 2-and-0 before working a seven-pitch walk. Joey Gallo flied to the warning track in right — a ball many in the ballpark, including in the Yankees’ dugout, thought might go out — which allowed Hicks to go to third. That brought up Aaron Judge, serenaded as he’s been all season with “MVP! MVP!” chants. Judge grounded a bullet right at Aledmys Diaz, who turned it into a 6-4 force for the third out.

The Astros made it 3-0 in the ninth against Lucas Luetge, who allowed five of the first six batters to reach base.  After Diaz doubled to put runners on second and third with none out, pinch hitter Yuli Gurriel looped an RBI single to center, and when Diaz ran through the stop sign put up by third-base coach Gary Pettis, Judge nailed him with a perfect throw to Kyle Higashioka. (If making the first out of an inning at third base is a cardinal sin, what is running through a stop sign and making the first out at home?)

“We had two world-class offenses out here today. I personally have a ton of respect for the guys on the other side of the field,” said Cole, an Astro in 2018 and ’19. “We were pretty good today and we got outpitched. So tip of the cap to Javier, special day for him. He was excellent all around. That’s the way the chips fell.” 

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