New York Yankees slugger DJ LeMahieu collected four hits in a 9-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
July 30 (UPI) -- Gerrit Cole struggled early before he retired 14 consecutive batters and J.J. LeMahieu sparked an offensive barrage to lead the New York Yankees to a 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore.
Cole allowed four hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings to earn his second win of the season Wednesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
New York initially was scheduled to host Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday and Thursday in New York, but that series was postponed and replaced with two games in Baltimore due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Miami Marlins players.
The Orioles had been scheduled to play the Marlins in Baltimore before that series also was postponed.
"We had nothing to do with Miami and our schedule got wrecked," Cole told reporters. "It was a good wake-up call for the league. Hopefully they learn from it and know that it doesn't just affect your squad."
LeMahieu sparked the Yankees with a solo home run of the second pitch of Wednesday's game. Mike Ford pushed the lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly later in the inning before Cole took the mound to face the Orioles.
The Yankees ace was not his dominant self early on. He allowed a leadoff walk before Jose Iglesias brought in Austin Hays two at-bats later with an RBI double. Cole made 21 pitches the first inning, but settled down to retire the Orioles in order in the second frame.
Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks homered in the top of the third inning to give the Yankees a 5-1 edge. Cole continued to improve with another hitless half inning in the bottom of the frame. He walked D.J. Stewart to lead off the bottom of the third inning before he began his run of 14 straight retired batters.
LeMahieu pushed the Yankees lead to 6-1 with a sixth-inning RBI single. Judge followed with another RBI single for a six-run advantage.
Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run homer for the Orioles in the top of the seventh inning. Cole then allowed a double to Pedro Severino before he was removed from the game.
"I was pleased with the outing, just didn't end on a high note," Cole said.
Giancarlo Stanton plated LeMahieu with an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning. The Yankees scored their final run on a wild pitch.
LeMahieu was 4 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the win. Judge went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Hicks was 1 for 3 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk for the Yankees.
Starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski took the loss for Baltimore after he allowed four hits and five runs in five innings.
Cole hasn't lost in 24 consecutive starts, a stretch that dates back to May 27, 2019. LeMahieu -- who hit .327 last season -- raised his 2020 average from .286 to .500 with the four-hit performance.
The Yankees will face the Orioles in the final game of the two-game series at 7:05 p.m. EDT Thursday in Baltimore.