Gerrit Cole’s COVID case alters Yanks’ pitching plans vs. Orioles

The unveiling of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo in front of their fans resulted in a disappointing outcome for the New York Yankees.

The game, however, paled in comparison to the news of Gerrit Cole contracting COVID-19.

Cole’s positive test means he will not start Tuesday night when the Yankeescontinue their three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees won three close games over the Miami Marlins after adding Gallo and Rizzo, but on Monday they went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position in a 7-1 loss. Rizzo’s sacrifice fly accounted for the lone run, while Gallo’s double in the sixth was the first New York hit.

Shortly after the loss, manager Aaron Boone said Cole tested positive, becoming the latest Yankee to do so. The announcement came the day before Cole was hoping to rebound from allowing eight runs (seven earned) in 5 1/3 innings in Thursday’s 14-0 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays.

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

Instead Nestor Cortes Jr. will likely make his fourth start in place of Cole, who spoke for about 10 minutes Monday afternoon and did indicate he was feeling ill.

The Yankees have been hit hard by COVID-19 despite being among the teams to reach an 85 percent vaccination threshold.

"Definitely it’s tough. It’s been a tough year. We got this news with Cole and definitely a low blow there," Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez said through a translator.

New York’s first game after the All-Star break, slated for July 15 against Boston, was postponed because of a virus outbreak when Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Kyle Higashioka, Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta and Cortes tested positive.

Of that group, only Peralta is still on the COVID-19 injured list, although Urshela is headed to the injured list with a low grade hamstring strain.

Baltimore is 7-3 in its past 10 games, and manager Brandon Hyde described Monday’s outcome as the result of "scrappy" play and a complete effort.

"This is an All-Star lineup, and I just thought, for me, that was our most complete game of the year in all phases," Hyde said.

Despite also going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, the Orioles mixed power and baserunning effectively by hitting four solo homers and scoring twice on sacrifice flies.

Cedric Mullins hit the first homer, stole two bases and heads into Tuesday with an 11-game hitting streak, which tied his career high.

Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urias also went deep, while Pedro Severino and Maikel Franco lifted sacrifice flies.

Baltimore left-fielder Alexander Wells (1-1, 5.28 ERA) will make his third career start and fifth career appearance on Tuesday. Wells is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in his first two starts and took his first career loss on Thursday when he allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings during a 6-2 loss at Detroit.

Cortes owns a 1.38 ERA as a starter this season and took a no-decision on Wednesday in Tampa Bay when he allowed one run on three hits in five innings.

Cortes is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two career appearances, both in relief, against Baltimore.

--Field Level Media