HOUSTON — Nestor Cortes and three relievers combined for a three-hitter and Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu each drove in two runs to lead the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 4-0 on Friday night.
Making a spot start, Cortes permitted two hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking two and lowering his ERA to 1.05.
Lucas Luetge (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings for the win. Chad Green gave up one hit in two innings and Jonathan Loaisiga threw a perfect ninth.
It was New York’s first visit to Houston since Game 6 of the 2019 AL Championship S.eries The Astros advanced to the World Series with a 6-4 win in that game on a two-run homer by Jose Altuve with two outs in the ninth.
The Astros are commemorating the event by giving away replica 2019 AL champions trophies on Friday night, 2019 AL champions replica rings on Saturday and Altuve jerseys for the finale on Sunday.
The powerful Houston hitters, however, didn’t give their fans at Minute Maid Park anything to cheer about. The Yankees, meanwhile, got back on track at the plate after managing just one hit in a 4-0 loss at Seattle on Thursday.
Gleyber Torres singled with one out in the fourth inning, Gio Urshela singled with two outs and Gardner doubled to the right-field corner.
Gardner walked with one out in the seventh, Tyler Wade doubled and LeMahieu hit a two-run double to push the lead to 4-0.
Houston starter Jake Odorizzi (3-4) yielded seven hits and two runs while striking out four in six innings. He had won three straight decisions.
Kyle Tucker hit a ground-rule double in the second and added a double in the seventh to lead the Astros in a game where the top four batters in Houston’s lineup went a combined 0 for 16.
Yankees: OF Miguel Andújar missed a third straight game on Friday and manager Aaron Boone said he has a strained wrist and he isn’t sure when he can return. … 1B Luke Voit was out of the lineup on Friday, but Boone said he was OK and it was just a day off to let him rest after being “beat up” this week.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa was placed on the injured list due to health and safety protocols. … Utility player Aledmys Díaz took batting practice on the field on Friday for the first time since fracturing his left hand when he was hit by a pitch on June 5. Manager Dusty Baker said there still isn’t a timetable for his return.
Former Astros ace Gerrit Cole (8-4, 2.91 ERA) will face Houston for the second time this season when he starts on Saturday night against Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.64). Cole allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings but did not factor in the decision in a 7-4 Houston win on May 6.