The Yankees of recent vintage have difficulty reflecting fondly upon their visits to Minute Maid Park, associating that building with great battles and season-ending heartbreak. Yet there is no time like the present to flip that script.
Playing their first game in Houston since the 2019 postseason, Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu each contributed two-run doubles while Nestor Cortes pitched scorelessly in another superb spot start, leading the Yankees to a 4-0 victory over the Astros on Friday evening.
The longest-tenured Yankee — and one who experienced the pin-drop silence of a defeated visiting clubhouse in both 2017 and ’19 — Gardner opened the scoring by lacing a two-out knock in the fourth inning off Houston’s Jake Odorizzi, who scattered seven hits over six innings.
Cortes was better, baffling the Astros with an assortment of pitches and deliveries while lowering his ERA to 1.05. Texas native Lucas Luetge entered as the lineup turned over in the fifth, striking out Jose Altuve to end the frame, then spun a perfect sixth.
LeMahieu provided insurance with a terrific 10-pitch at-bat facing Bryan Abreu in the seventh, pounding a curveball to left field and cashing two runs.