The Yankees didn’t make Gerrit Cole the highest-paid pitcher of all time for games in April against the Orioles, but on this April night, with Baltimore in The Bronx, Cole was as dominant as he has ever been in pinstripes.
The right-hander, reunited with Kyle Higashioka behind the plate, was the same overpowering pitcher he was when the duo was paired together late last season, when Cole had a 1.00 ERA in his final four outings to close out the regular season.
In Tuesday’s 7-2 win, Cole tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 13.
It was Cole’s most dominant start as a Yankee. He struck out 13 in a wild-card win over Cleveland last season, but wasn’t as crisp as he was Tuesday, when he allowed just four hits and didn’t walk a batter.
He got all the offense he needed in the bottom of the second, when Jay Bruce led off with a homer to right, his first as a Yankee.
The Orioles threatened just once against Cole — and it came almost immediately.
Cedric Mullins opened the game with a line drive up the middle and stole second. Mullins advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Cole recovered to…