The New York Yankees state-of-the-art cannot fondly reflect on their visits to the Minute Maid Park, associating that building with great battles that led to the heartbreak that ended the season. There is no better time than the present to change that script.
Playing their first game in Houston since the 2019 postseason, the Veterans Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu each contributed two-run doubles, while Cuban southpaw Nestor Cortes pitched scoreless on another excellent start, leading the Yankees to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night. :
New York improved to 3-1 this season against Houston, though at 45-42 the Yankees are still nine games behind the leading Red Sox in the AL East.
The oldest Yankee, and one who experienced the silence of a defeated away clubhouse as the Astros advanced in 2017 and ’19, Gardner opened the scoring with a two-out knockout in the fourth inning.
That was the Bombers’ significant hitting hit against right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who scattered seven hits over six innings, but Cortés was better, combining with three relievers on a three-hit shutout.
The winner, Lucas Luetge (3-1), a Texas native, entered as the lineup turned upside down in the fifth, striking out Jose Altuve to end the frame, then spun a perfect sixth for the win. Chad Green fired two scoreless innings and Jonathan Loaisiga recorded the final three outs, including a 100 mph fastball strikeout.
LeMahieu provided insurance with an excellent 10-pitch at-bat off right-hander Bryan Abreu in the seventh, hitting a curveball to left field that earned two runs.
Abreu threw two curveballs to open LeMahieu on a 0-2 hole, but the defending batting champion fouled on four straight pitches while pulling three out of the strike zone, completing the score. Abreu’s 10th pitch was an inside slider, and LeMahieu tied him to the scoreboard.