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Yankees fall to Tigers in extras

Even on nights when Gerrit Cole doesn’t have his best stuff, he’s still Gerrit Cole, and over the course of his nine-year career, that’s usually been enough.

That was the case on Friday night, when Cole went toe to toe with fellow No. 1 overall Draft pick Casey Mize in the series opener at Comerica Park. Unfortunately, the Yankees were unable to capitalize on several late-inning opportunities before falling to the Tigers, 3-2, in the 10th.

Though the game was ultimately decided long after both stars departed, Cole’s effort was key in laying the foundation early and preventing Detroit from gaining momentum.

The game marked the first time in Yankees history that both starters (Cole, 2011; Casey Mize, 2018) were No. 1 overall Draft picks, and they lived up to the billing by matching each other early. Cole was dinged for a run in the third on three consecutive one-out hits; Mize allowed a solo homer to Rougned Odor to open the fifth. Both starters faced 20 batters and scattered five hits through their first five innings, with Mize fanning seven against Cole’s three.

The difference came in pitch economy: Mize bowed out after five frames and 97 pitches, while Cole had thrown 20 fewer pitches and still had one inning left in the tank. The sixth wasn’t his prettiest inning of the night but Cole bulldogged through it, overcoming a leadoff single, a wild pitch and a passed ball, ringing up Nomar Mazara to end the threat with a runner on third.