Yankees starter Gerrit Cole delivers a pitch in the third inning Wednesday night at St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Gerrit Cole struck out 12 over eight stellar innings, Aaron Hicks had a sacrifice fly and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 on Wednesday night amid a coronavirus outbreak that sidelined shortstop Gleyber Torres.

Cole (5-1) scattered four hits and has five starts this season of at least 10 strikeouts and no walks to break Mike Mussina’s single-season team record set in 2001. He struck out all three batters in his final inning, including Brett Phillips on a 98 mph fastball to end the inning.

Aroldis Chapman completed the four-hitter to get his ninth save as New York won consecutive games, including postseason, against the Rays for the first time since July 16-18, 2019.

COVID-19 protocols impacted the Yankees for the second straight day. Torres was kept out of the starting lineup as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s coach and support staff reached seven.

Cole has not given up a walk and gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts, which ties Fritz Peterson (1971) for the second-longest such stretch in Yankees history. Only David Wells’ six-game streak from Sept. 6, 2002 to Apr. 10, 2003 is longer.

TIGERS 4, ROYALS 2: Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs and surpassed Omar Vizquel for the most major league hits by a Venezuelan player, leading Detroit past visiting Kansas City.

Cabrera’s two RBI singles gave him 2,878, one more than Vizquel, who played his last game in 2012 and was a coach for Cabrera and the Tigers from 2014-17.

Kansas City lost its 10th straight, the Royals’ longest skid since they dropped 10 in a row from March 31-April 11, 2019.


REDS 5, PIRATES 1: Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez combined to drive in four runs in the 10th inning as Cincinnati’s bullpen threw 5 1/3 hitless innings, and the Reds won at Pittsburgh.

Winker singled off reliever Duane Underwood Jr. (1-2) to lead off the 10th, scoring designated runner Nick Senzel. Nick Castellanos singled and Mike Moustakas walked ahead of Suarez, who drove a pitch into the left-center gap for a three-run double.

Lucas Sims (2-1) worked two perfect innings with four strikeouts to earn the win. The Cincinnati bullpen struck out nine without allowing a hit in relief of Sonny Gray.

PADRES-ROCKIES SPLIT: Josh Fuentes capped a big night with a two-out, walk-off single in the eighth inning after earlier hitting a two-run homer and host Colorado salvaged a doubleheader split by beating virus-hampered San Diego 3-2.

The Padres, missing starters Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers and two others because of COVID-19 concerns, won the opener 5-3. Austin Nola, who’s normally a catcher but was playing second base for short-handed San Diego, made a nifty catch with the bases loaded for the final out.

PHILLIES 5, NATIONALS 2: Rhys Hoskins hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning as visiting Philadelphia rallied and then took the lead against struggling Washington closer Brad Hand.

Philadelphia, which has taken seven of its last nine, won consecutive road games for the first time this season. Washington dropped its fourth in a row and seventh of eight to sink a season-worst six games below .500.

Hand (2-2), who blew a save Saturday against the New York Yankees and then suffered the loss the next afternoon in the Bronx, was staked to a 2-1 lead in the ninth. He quickly gave it back on Odubel Herrera’s one-out home run.

Hand allowed a leadoff single to Bryce Harper in the 10th, moving automatic runner Andrew McCutchen to third. Kyle Finnegan entered and promptly surrendered Hoskins’ RBI single. Nick Maton and Andrew Knapp added run-scoring singles later in the inning.

Jose Alvarado (3-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Hector Neris worked a perfect 10th for his seventh save.


METS 7, ORIOLES 1: Matt Harvey pitched against his former team for the first time and allowed Kevin Pillar’s two-run triple in a three-run second inning that carried host New York to its seventh straight win.

Harvey (3-3) gave up a season-high seven runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, and his ERA rose from 3.60 to 4.81 as the last-place Orioles lost for the fifth time in six games.

Dominic Smith had three hits and two RBI for the NL East-leading Mets, who completed a two-game sweep that finished a 5-0 homestand. New York is on its longest hot streak since winning eight straight from Aug. 3-10, 2019.

INDIANS 2, CUBS 1: Amed Rosario’s bases-loaded single with two outs in the 10th inning gave Cleveland a win over visiting Chicago.

Rosario, who drove in Cleveland’s first run with a sixth-inning double, singled to right on a 1-1 pitch from Keegan Thompson (1-1), giving the Indians a sweep of the two-game series.

Chicago threatened in every inning except the eighth but finished 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 baserunners. Joc Pederson drove in the Cubs’ only run with a double in the sixth.

BLUE JAYS 4, BRAVES 1: Teoscar Hernandez hit two homers and drove in three runs, Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven sharp innings and Toronto won at Atlanta.

Toronto improved to 5-0 against the Braves this season and has outscored them 35-16.

William Contreras hit a long homer in the fifth for the only run allowed by Ryu (3-2). Ryu gave up five hits, struck out six and walked one.


BRAVES: Right-hander Mike Soroka has experienced a setback in his recovery from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon and will have a follow-up procedure next week.

Soroka was the Braves’ Opening-Day starter in 2020. He suffered the season-ending injury against the New York Mets on Aug. 3.

Soroka, 23, had not begun throwing but was expected to return to the rotation this season. Now those plans are in doubt.

Manager Brian Snitker said Soroka will have exploratory surgery early next week in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

ASTROS: The Houston Astros are providing furnished apartments to minor league players at all levels for the 2022 season, believed to be the first big league club to do so.

Players with the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters, Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, High-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Low-A Asheville Tourists and the franchise’s Gulf Coast League team were offered housing ahead of last week’s Opening Day, the Astros said, confirming a report by The Athletic.

Housing has been among the greatest difficulties facing minor league players, many of whom will make as little as $10,000 this season despite pay raises introduced for 2021.

Players are unable to use host families this season due to COVID-19 restrictions, and even in past years, they have routinely lived in overcrowded apartments, slept on air mattresses, or in the case of one thrifty minor leaguer, converted a school bus into a mobile home.

DIAMONDBACKS: The Arizona Diamondbacks continued to deal with a surge of early-season injuries, putting starting pitcher Zac Gallen and first baseman Christian Walker on the 10-day injured list.

Gallen has a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, which is the ligament replaced in Tommy John surgery. Walker has a sore right oblique; a similar injury put him on the IL earlier this season.

DODGERS: Backup third baseman Edwin Rios will miss the rest of the season after surgery on his right shoulder.

Right-hander Dustin May also underwent Tommy John surgery, sidelining him until at least the summer of 2022.

The defending World Series champions announced their decision on Rios, who has a partially torn labrum. He will have surgery next week.

The Dodgers also shut down Josiah Gray, their top pitching prospect, due to a right shoulder impingement. Gray, who was scratched from his minor league start at the last minute Tuesday night, will rest for at least a week before re-evaluation.

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