Here are some key takeaways …
1. Sean Manaea kept the Yankees’ bats quiet until the top of the fourth, when the Bronx Bombers lived up to their namesake. First, Giancarlo Stanton hit an absolute moonshot 472 feet to left-center for his second homer in as many nights. A couple of batters later, Luke Voit drilled his eighth homer of the season. The pair of home runs put the Yanks up 2-0.
2. In the fifth, Aaron Judge blew the game wide open. With two runners on and one out, Judge joined in on the home run party, tagging a three-run homer to left-center. His 28th big fly of the season made it a 5-0 game and chased Manaea after 4.1 innings, as he allowed five earned on seven hits (three home runs).
3. Gerrit Cole started his night with four scoreless innings, but he ran into some trouble in the fifth, allowing two singles and walking Matt Olson to load the bases with one out. But Cole buckled down struck out Jed Lowrie on a 99 mph fastball, and then with two away Gio Urshela robbed Josh Harrison of a would-be two-run single.
Cole struck out Sean Murphy to end the sixth inning, and in the process became the fastest Yankees pitcher ever to 200 strikeouts in a season. Cole needed just 148 innings to reach that mark, easily surpassing the previous club record help by Michael Pineda at 168.1 innings in 2016.
With his pitch count at 104, Cole’s night ended there. He went six shutout innings scattering six hits with nine strikeouts and two walks, lowering his season ERA to 2.80.
4. Joely Rodriguez replaced Cole in the seventh, but he allowed the A’s to get back into the game. A five-run Yankees’ lead became a 5-2 game as an Olson RBI single paired with a Joey Gallo throwing error brought in a pair of Oakland runs. Chad Green was brought in the clean up the mess, and while he walked Harrison, he forced a double play ball to end the inning.
5. After Green finished the seventh and then struck out the side in the eighth, Kyle Higashioka provided some extra insurance with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to push the lead back to five runs. For good measure, Judge added another RBI with a single to give him four runs driven in on the night.
The four-game set between the Yankees and A’s continues on Saturday at 4:07 p.m.
Nestor Cortes Jr. will face righty Frankie Montas.