Yankees take the series by winning 4-2 in Game 3 against Phillies

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NEW YORK — When Gerrit Cole left the game in the seventh inning after a pitch-clock violation led to a walk, he was glad to have avoided any trouble with Philadelphia’s lineup.

“The Phillies are great. The lineup’s a joke, they’re so good,” he said.

The NL champions are not laughing much as they head into their home opener. For the third time in four games, Philadelphia was held to two runs or less. On Wednesday, Aaron Nola and the Phillies lost 4-2 to Gerrit Cole and the Yankees in a matchup of two of the best pitchers in baseball.

“It was going to be a fun scrap,” Cole said.

For the first time since 2007, Philadelphia dropped to 1-5.

Cole was taken out of the game with one out and a full count on Nick Castellanos after he shook off catcher Jose Trevino. This was Cole’s first clock violation. Bryson Stott hit a single on Jonathan Loáisiga‘s first pitch, and Alec Bohm was hit with his second. This put runners on first and second, and Jake Cave’s sacrifice fly cut the lead to 2-1.

In the bottom half, Jose Trevino hit a two-run homer off Gregory Soto, and Kyle Schwarber hit his second homer in two days, a solo shot, off Loáisiga in the eighth.

“We just got to call a mound visit there,” Cole said. “It slipped both of our minds.”

Gleyber Torres had three hits, including RBI singles in the first and sixth innings. He also stole two bases. He is hitting .421 with six RBI and five steals for the Yankees, who beat both the Giants and the Phillies in two of three games.

“He’s fearless on the basepaths and instinctual,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Just been really patient, under-control at-bats. That’s what he’s capable of.”

In the first game, against San Francisco, Cole (2-0) went six innings without giving up a run. In the seventh, he did the same thing. The right-handed pitcher, who is 32 years old, gave up three hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out eight batters, and walked three. He also got the last out of the third by throwing out the fast Trea Turner at first base.

“Getting ahead is always a good answer for avoiding situations where you got to come over the plate on someone else’s terms,” Cole said.

In 12 1/3 innings, he has 19 strikeouts, five walks, and six hits for an earned run average of 0.73. Cole hasn’t given up any home runs after giving up 33 last year, which was the most in the American League.

“When you’re going against him, guys are selling out to certain things,” Boone said. “When he’s really dottin’ his fastball like that and dictating counts and gaining leverage within the counts, you know you’ve got to deal with wipeout secondary stuff, too.”

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RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-0) faces RHP Dean Kremer (0-0) in Baltimore’s home opener on Friday. The game was moved back a day because bad weather was expected.

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