NEW YORK – Gerrit Cole was relieved to have navigated Philadelphia's lineup unscathed when he walked off the mound in the seventh inning after a pitch-clock violation resulted in a walk.
“The Phillies are great. The lineup's a joke, they're so good,” he said.
There is little laughing among the NL champions heading into their home opener. Philadelphia was held to two runs or fewer for the third time in four games, with Aaron Nola losing to Cole and the Yankees 4-2 Wednesday in a marquee matchup of premier pitchers.
“It was going to be a fun scrap," Cole said.
Philadelphia fell to 1-5 for the first time since 2007.
Cole was removed with one out in the seventh after shaking off catcher Jose Trevino with a full count on Nick Castellanos, resulting in Cole's first clock violation. Reliever Jonathan Loáisiga allowed a single to Bryson Stott on his first pitch and hit Alec Bohm with his second, loading the bases, and Jake Cave's sacrifice fly cut the deficit to 2-1.
“We just got to call a mound visit there,” Cole said. "It slipped both of our minds."
Gleyber Torres had three hits, including RBI singles in the first and sixth innings, and two stolen bases. He is hitting .421 with six RBIs and five steals for the Yankees, who took two of three from both San Francisco and the Phillies.
"He's fearless on the basepaths and instinctual," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Just been really patient, under-control at-bats. That's what he's capable of.”
Coming off six scoreless innings against San Francisco in the opener, Cole (2-0) pitched shutout ball into the seventh. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out eight and walked three. He also picked off speedy Trea Turner at first base for the final out of the third.
“Getting ahead is always a good answer for avoiding situations where you got to come over the plate on someone else's terms.” Cole said.
He has a 0.73 ERA with 19 strikeouts, five walks and six hits in 12 1/3 innings. Cole hasn't given up any home runs after allowing an American League-high 33 last year.
“When you're going against him, guys are selling out to certain things,” Boone said. “When he's really dottin' his fastball like that and dictating counts and gaining leverage within the counts, you know you've got to deal with wipeout secondary stuff, too.”
Nola entered third for pitcher WAR since 2018 behind Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, and Cole was fourth. On a 48-degree afternoon with a chilling mist, Nola (0-1) gave up three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings with a walk and five strikeouts. He has a 7.45 ERA.
Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long was ejected by plate umpire Nic Lentz in the fifth for arguing a called strike to Cave.
Clay Holmes struck out three straight batters in the ninth, finishing the five-hitter for his first save this season.
Phillies: OF Bryce Harper (Tommy John surgery) took batting practice on the field Tuesday, his first on-field BP since Tommy John surgery in November. ... 1B Darick Hall sprained his right thumb when it landed on second base when he was trying to stretch a single in the fourth inning. SS Anthony Volpe caught RF Franchy Cordero’s throw on the fly and made a swipe tag, and Hall left the game in the middle of the fifth. ... CF Brandon Marsh was scratched with a mild left ankle sprain sustained while trying to chase DJ LeMahieu's ninth-inning homer Tuesday.
Yankees: 3B Josh Donaldson left with right hamstring tightness after hobbling while running to first on a second-inning flyout. “Don't think it's too severe, but it's a hamstring,” Boone said. ... LHP Carlos Rodón (left forearm strain) was to throw two simulated innings Wednesday, perhaps one to batters. ... RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) threw at 90 feet. ... RHP Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis) started a throwing program.
Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1) is to take the mound for Philadelphia’s weather-threatened home opener Thursday against LHP Nick Lodolo (1-0) and Cincinnati.
Yankees: RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-0) starts in Baltimore’s home opener against RHP Dean Kremer (0-0) on Friday, a game pushed back a day by a forecast of poor weather.