Yankees suffer first loss of season in blowout defeat to Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — A common refrain from starting pitchers during the Yankees’ first turn through the rotation was that they knew they just had to keep the game close to give their offense a chance to win it.

Nestor Cortes, after another rocky first inning, kept his outing from going completely off the rails once again.

But this time, the Yankees’ offense was finally kept in check, their bullpen failed to keep things close, and with that, their perfect start to the season came to an end in their sixth game.

Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen threw six shutout innings to stifle the Yankees and hand them their first loss of the season, 7-0, on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

Against Gallen and three Diamondbacks relievers, the Yankees mustered just three hits and four walks.

They were unable to find the timely hits they had consistently delivered during their 5-0 run, which had been the franchise’s best start since 1992.

The loss sets up a series rubber match on Wednesday afternoon before the Yankees finally head home for Friday’s home opener.

After Cortes gave up three runs across five-plus innings, the Yankees were still hanging around, facing a 3-0 deficit until the seventh inning.

Lefty reliever Victor Gonzalez allowed two men to reach before he was replaced by Jake Cousins, the righty reliever acquired from the White Sox on Sunday.

Cousins got an out before giving up a three-run bomb to Christian Walker that broke the game open with a 6-0 Diamondbacks lead.

Cousins’ lack of control led to another run scoring in the ninth on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Just like his Opening Day start in Houston last Thursday, Cortes had a rough first inning and spotted his opponent a three-run lead before finding his way.

The Diamondbacks came out swinging against him, with Ketel Marte leading off with a double to left field and Blaze Alexander following with a single up the middle to make it 1-0 two batters into the frame.

Cortes retired the next batter for the first out but then gave up three straight singles to Walker, Eugenio Suarez and Gabriel Moreno to extend the Diamondbacks’ lead to 3-0.

But then Cortes got bailed out before any more damage could be done.

With runners on the corners, Jorge Barrosa laid down a hard bunt to first base.

Anthony Rizzo fielded it quickly and fired home to get Suarez in a pickle.

He was eventually tagged out at third, at which point Barrosa had made a wide turn around first base with another runner standing on second.

Oswaldo Cabrera threw across the diamond, where Cortes slapped a tag on Barrosa for the double play.

Cortes rebounded with a quick second inning, stranded a pair of runners in both the third and fourth innings before mowing down the middle of the Diamondbacks’ order in the fifth.

The Yankees had their best chances against Gallen early but were unable to do anything with them.

Gleyber Torres led off the game with a walk but then was erased when Juan Soto grounded into a double play.

Aaron Judge then drew a four-pitch walk but was stranded when Rizzo grounded out.

In the second inning, Anthony Volpe and Cabrera hit back-to-back singles with two outs.

But Jose Trevino struck out to end the short-lived rally.

From there, Gallen mostly cruised, retiring 12 of the final 14 batters he faced.

In Gallen’s final inning of work, Soto singled and the crowd full of Yankees fans began to buzz, believing they had seen this comeback movie before.

But Gallen got Judge to fly out and Rizzo to ground out, quickly extinguishing the threat.

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