Cortes struggles, Yankees humbled by Gallen, Diamondbacks in 7-0 loss

Judge Yankees Diamondbacks
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, right, grimaces after a called third strike as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno, left, heads to the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Yankees’ season-opening momentum came to a screeching halt in the second game of their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 7-0 loss, mostly due to starting pitcher Nestor Cortes’ inability to stop the bleeding in the early innings.

With velocity down on his fastball, Cortes’ primary pitch did not have the zip it did in years past — his cutter’s path was too recognizable and his sweeper was too hitable.

Cortes and the Yankees (5-1) trailed within the first two batters of the night. Ketel Marte ripped a double and was driven home with Blaze Alexander’s RBI single on the hurler’s 89-mph cutter. Consecutive hits by Christian Walker, Eugenio Suarez and Gabriel Moreno made it 3-0 Arizona in a flash.

Cortes went just five-plus innings, giving up those three runs on eight hits and walking two.
Victor Gonzalez was brought on in the bottom of the sixth after Moreno was walked, but New York reliever set the D’Backs down in succession.

In the 7th though, the pitching was in serious trouble. Marte legged out an infield hit and ultimately advanced to third thanks to an Oswaldo Cabrera throwing error. Following an Alexander walk and a pitching change for the newly-acquired Jake Cousins, Walker smacked his third home run of the season into the left-field seats to put the Diamondbacks out of reach.

Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen pitched a gem, only giving up three hits and three walks across six innings of work while also fanning six en route to his second win of the season.

For more on the Yankees, visit AMNY.com