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Yankees’ Nestor Cortes picks up another home win in solid outing

With Nestor Cortez pitching at home, the Yankees would have acquired a lights-out version of the southpaw.

They should bottle whatever’s in the air in the Bronx and bring it on tour.

Cortes pitched five scoreless innings in Wednesday night’s Yankees-Mariners game at the stadium.

The Yankees defeated the Mariners 7-3, with Nestor Cortez pitching five scoreless innings for his third win of the season. Robert Sabo, The New York Post

He had six strikeouts with just three hits and three walks, and said after the game, “That was the hardest fastball and cutter I’ve ever thrown.”

“He pitched really well tonight,” manager Aaron Boone said, “he had a little bit more power. His fastball was blurry tonight, his cutter was all good. … It set the tone for us tonight.”

His only drawback was his pitch count: he threw 74 pitches over three innings, but got out quickly in the fourth and fifth innings and was replaced by Tommy Kahnle after throwing 97 pitches through the sixth inning.

Cortes’ home and away records this season have continued to be draws.

He has given up just five runs in six starts and pitched 40 1/3 innings at home, lowering his ERA to 1.11 at Wednesday’s Stadium.

Cortes struck out 41 batters at home and walked just five.

Nestor Cortez pitches in the bottom of the first inning of a Yankees victory.
Nestor Cortez pitches in the bottom of the first inning of a Yankees victory. Robert Szabo of the New York Post

It’s a far cry from the performances he’s shown elsewhere.

Cortes posted an abysmal 6.75 ERA on the road, allowing 19 earned runs in 25-of-3 innings across five starts.

He struck out only 23 and walked 10 on the road.

Opponents have a .293/.359/.509 slash line against Cortez on the road with an OPS of .868.

It’s a simple equation. The Yankees are 1-4 when Cortez starts on the road and 4-2 when he starts at home.

His next two starts are likely to be on the road, as the Yankees begin a nine-game West Coast road trip in San Diego on Friday.

“I think it’s all thanks to the fans,” Cortez said of pitching at home. “Obviously, this is our home field. It’s special to pitch here. … With that fan base behind you, every time you get two strikes, they’re going to be there for you to get that strikeout. Being excited and knowing that after you come out of the 5th, 6th, 7th inning you’re just generally excited. Maybe you’ll get a standing ovation if you do a good job. do not have.”

Cortez’s appearance on Wednesday night was as expected for a Yankees starting pitcher in recent weeks.

They have been ruthlessly dominant, allowing just seven runs in 62¹/₃ combined innings over their last 10 games for an ERA of just 1.01.

And all of that happened without their ace, Gerrit Cole.

Batter take note.

“To get to 5th place [inning] It was huge for us and getting it to the bullpen,” Aaron Judge said of Cortez’s outing. “Especially throwing over 70 pitches in the first three games. [innings]It’s usually hard to recover from that. ”