BOSTON — In Gerrit Cole’s biggest moment yet as a Yankee, he didn’t make it out of the third inning.
The $324 million right-hander got shelled for two home runs and walked two batters in two-plus innings on Tuesday night against the Red Sox in the American League wild-card game at Fenway Park.
By the time Cole walked the second batter on his 50th pitch of the night, putting runners on first and second with no outs in the third inning with the Yankees already trailing 3-0, manager Aaron Boone decided he had seen enough. He made the long walk to the mound and took the ball from Cole — seemingly stunning the crowd, which responded with cheers. Boone called on Clay Holmes from the bullpen.
Holmes got out of the jam with a strikeout and double play to limit the damage on Cole’s line.
Pitching to the soundtrack of “Gerr-it” chants from the Boston crowd, Cole issued a two-out walk in the first inning and it came back to hurt him when Xander Bogaerts crushed changeup down the middle for a two-run home run to center field.
Cole worked around a hard double by Kevin Plawecki in the second inning but then gave up a 435-foot home run to Kyle Schwarber on a 97 mph fastball above the zone to lead off the third inning. Kiké Hernandez then singled on a swinging bunt before Rafael Devers drew his second walk of the night, sending Cole to an early exit.
It marked the latest clunker for Cole, who pitched to a 5.13 ERA in September. He left a Sept. 7 start early with hamstring tightness, but insisted on Monday it was fine.
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