NEW YORK—Alex Cobb hadn’t pitched in 12 days. Cobb didn’t test positive for Covid-19, but he had a cold, and the Orioles placed him on the injured list as a precaution.
The layoff appeared to hurt Cobb. He gave up two home runs to the Yankees in the first inning and a third two batters into the second. The Orioles fell behind 5-0 on the the way to a 6-0 loss to New York in the first game of a doubleheader Friday.
Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, whom the Orioles defeated last Saturday night, allowed only two hits in the seven-inning game and struck out nine.
Cobb allowed a leadoff home run to DJ LeMahieu, and Luke Voit followed with a single. Brett Gardner homered to right and, three batters into the game, the Orioles trailed, 3-0.
Mike Tauchman led off the second with a single, and Kyle Higashioka homered to left to give New York a 5-0 lead.
Cobb said he tested negative for Covid-19 seven or eight times.
“The way we’re operating this year, if you have any type of symptoms you have to proceed like you have Covid and try to stay away from everybody,” Cobb said. “Even if it’s not Covid, even a common cold, if I pass it on to the rest of my team, they’ll have to sit out and wait and get cleared and make sure they don’t have it. So you just have to be away. It’s unfortunate.
“It’s definitely something you would show up every day during a regular season and keep getting work in and kind of stay sharp.”
The three home runs Cobb allowed were one short of a career high.
“I don’t think [the three home runs] were necessarily like great pitches, but definitely good swings were put on them,” Cobb said. “They weren’t necessarily great pitches, but I didn’t think the swings were home-run worthy.”
Hanser Alberto singled with two outs in the fifth for the Orioles’ first hit. Even if Cole didn’t allow a hit, Major League Baseball rules prohibit the use of the term no-hitter for games shorter than nine innings.
Renato Núñez singled with two outs in the seventh for the Orioles’ only other hit.
“I don’t put much stock in our at-bats,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think it was Gerrit Cole. He had everything going.”
Cole does get credit for a complete game. He threw 114 pitches in a game that took two hours, two minutes.
Cobb was relieved by Thomas Eshelman after four innings. Cobb gave up five runs on seven hits.
The Orioles are 20-23.
Catcher Pedro Severino, who hadn’t thrown out any of his five baserunners this season, threw out Brett Gardner twice while allowing a steal by Tauchman.
In the sixth, New York scored a run against Eshelman on Tauchman’s RBI single.
Coming up: In Friday night’s second game, Keegan Akin will face Masahiro Tanaka.