Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes delivers a pitch in the first...

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes delivers a pitch in the first inning against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday in Chicago. Credit: Getty Images/Quinn Harris

CHICAGO — It would have been difficult for Nestor Cortes to do much better on Sunday than he did last Monday against the Rangers, when he didn’t allow a hit for 7 1⁄3 innings in a 1-0 victory.

But the lefthander, who did allow one hit that day, came pretty close.

Cortes again made the opposition look completely overmatched, allowing three hits and no walks in a career-best eight innings as the Yankees won their eighth straight series with a 5-1 victory over the White Sox in front of 29,500 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“I told him that was good, even for him,” Aaron Boone said with a smile. “He was in complete control.”

Cortes, whom Boone called one of the best pitchers in the game earlier in the day, did not allow a run until Adam Engel golfed a 1-and-1 slider over the leftfield wall with one out in the eighth to make it 3-1. He struck out seven in improving to 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in seven starts.

By any measure, Cortes, who has struck out 49, given up 23 hits and walked 11 in 40 innings, ranks among the top pitchers in the game. Just don’t ask him to see himself that way.

“Not really,” said Cortes, who retired 15 straight during one stretch. “There’s a lot of good pitchers out there. I just try to do my part. For me, it’s going out there every five days and competing.”

Cortes did acknowledge — to a degree — his overall dominance. When did he know he had his good stuff? “From the get-go,” he said. “Even in the bullpen, I felt like my fastball and cutter were there. I thought the slider was pretty good today. From the first pitch, I felt pretty good about it.”

Asked if one pitch stood out, catcher Jose Trevino said: “All of them were good.”

The Yankees (25-9) took three of four from the White Sox (16-17) and have won 20 of their last 24 games. They have won 25 of their first 34 games for the ninth time in franchise history and only the third time since 1959.

The Yankees, who were held to two hits, hadn’t scored at least five runs with two or fewer hits since June 8, 1952, according to YES.

They entered the ninth with one hit, but Josh Donaldson drew a two-out walk against Jose Ruiz — ending a streak in which 21 straight Yankees were retired — and Joey Gallo blasted a two-run homer to rightfield to make it 5-1.

Of the Yankees’ 32 runs in the series, 20 were scored with two outs. They scored three runs in the second, all with two outs, despite picking up only one hit in the inning.

White Sox righthander Michael Kopech, who came in 0-0 but with a 0.93 ERA, retired the Yankees in order on 10 pitches in the first inning but completely lost his command in the second. He walked four in the inning, and the vast majority of the pitches weren’t close to the strike zone.

Gallo worked a two-out walk and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to center. Trevino walked on five pitches to load the bases and Aaron Hicks — 7-for-55 (.127) in his career with the bases loaded — walked to make it 1-0.

Kopech fell behind DJ LeMahieu 3-and-0 before walking him on five pitches to make it 2-0. Up stepped Aaron Judge, and the first pitch he saw hit the dirt for a wild pitch and a 3-0 lead. Judge grounded out to end the 41-pitch inning, beginning the streak of 21 straight outs.

Cortes quickly got his offense back in the box, setting down the White Sox in order on 10 pitches in the second. He struck out the side on 10 pitches in the third.

When did Donaldson — who played a superb game at third and took a hit away from Josh Harrison with a diving stop toward the line on a ground smash in the sixth inning — recognize that Cortes was at the top of his game?

“Early on,” he said. “You could kind of see it in his body language and how he was going about it. You could tell he was feeling it.”

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