Yankees’ Cole demands ball, completes 3-hit gem vs Astros

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole reacts after striking out Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez to end a baseball game, Saturday, July 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


HOUSTON (AP) — Yankees ace Gerrit Cole demanded on the mound that manager Aaron Boone let him get the final out, then struck out Yordan Alvarez with a 99 mph fastball on his career-high 129th pitch to cap the New York Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Houston Astros. Aaron Judge hit a solo homer and Cole did the rest, completing a three-hitter for his fifth career complete game and third shutout. His only other nine-inning shutout was May 4, 2018 against Arizona while he pitched for Houston. The AL West-leading Astros, who entered this series having been shutout just once all season, were blanked for a second straight game after losing 4-0 in the opener on Friday night.