New York Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole, manager Aaron Boone ejected for arguing called ball that preceded game-tying HR

NEW YORK — New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole and manager Aaron Boone were both ruled out of Friday night’s 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox for an argument with plate umpire Brian Knight over a pitched ball that one game-determining home run was preceded by the sixth inning.

Cole’s 1-2 pitch against Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo — who appeared low in the hitting zone on reps — was called a ball, and his subsequent pitch, a four-seam 100-mile fastball, was flagged down by Verdugo over the drilled right-field fence for a three-run homer that tied the game at 4. The right-hander ducked his head and leaned behind the mound as Verdugo took a slow trot around the bases.

Cole then knocked out JD Martinez to end the inning; As he left the mound, he started screaming and pointing angrily at Knight, who promptly gestured for Cole to be ejected. It was the first sacking of Cole’s career – although the five-time All-Star was probably done for tonight anyway after 103 pitches

“I thought there were several pitches that were borderline — sometimes they’re 50/50. I’ve done a pretty good job in my career without losing my composure,” said Cole. “I went without phlegm for quite a while. Just as emotions overwhelm you.”

An angry Boone joined the argument and was thrown as well. It was Boone’s ninth throw this season, which ESPN Stats & Information research says is the most in a manager’s season since Bobby Cox in 2007 (10).

“I felt like something was going on there [Yankees catcher Jose Trevino and the umpire] there,” Boone said. “I obviously got out a bit late tonight so I didn’t want that to happen [Trevino getting ejected]so I was out there trying to protect those guys a little bit.”

Cole said his pitch to Verdugo, which hit the home run, “was like the worst pitch of the sequence. He obviously put a beautiful swing on it and did what he wanted with the pitch.”

The previous pitch, on the other hand: “I had locked him up.”

“I thought it was punctured,” said Cole. “Put it where we wanted it.”

Verdugo suggested a different take.

“It wasn’t even close,” Verdugo said. “He wants to steal every pitch. He wants his captor to steal it.”

Cole has now conceded 31 homers this season, the most in the American League and second in all of MLB, behind Washington Nationals’ Josiah Gray.

“I’ve been stabbed a few times, but it’s baseball,” said Cole.

Cole finished the game with eight strikeouts in six innings, giving him 244 for the season — the second most in a single season in Yankees history. He’s just four punchouts away from surpassing Ron Guidry’s franchise mark of 248, set in 1978.

Yankees pinch hitter Harrison Bader pulled a two-out walk in eighth and was credited with a stolen base when a wild pickoff attempt by Boston’s Matt Strahm allowed him to finish third. Trevino got the deciding run in next place. Jonathan Loaisiga threw two scoreless innings for the win and worked around two one-out singles in the ninth.

Aaron Judge was held without a homer for the third straight game, keeping him at 60 for the season and one short of Roger Maris’ American League record.

“He comes off the right shots, he makes good swing decisions. It will come,” Boone said. “But it’s also a look at what a great player he is that when he’s not hitting the ball out of the stadium he still influences us a lot.

“With all the noise and fuss about it, understandably, he still goes out there and just puts good shots together.”

The first-place Yankees reduced their magic number to five to win the AL East title.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. New York Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole, manager Aaron Boone ejected for arguing called ball that preceded game-tying HR

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