NEW YORK -- Gerrit Cole posted his 20th straight regular-season win over his past 27 starts dating to last season, becoming the sixth major league pitcher to ever reach the mark by throwing seven sharp innings to lead the New York Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 10-3 on Friday night.
A noted Yankees fan growing up in Southern California, Cole (4-0) allowed one run and four hits in his first taste of the storied rivalry, albeit in front of empty seats. He struck out eight, walked none and threw 95 pitches.
"It was a tight game for a while," Cole said. "We needed to make some pitches and we did."
Cole, who came within one strike of a win his previous start before getting pulled, moved closer to the all-time record of 24 consecutive victories by Carl Hubbell in 1936-37. Roy Face is next at 22, followed by Roger Clemens, Jake Arrieta, Rube Marquard and Cole at 20 each.
"Best pitcher in the game and that's what you're seeing," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "You're seeing a guy that's great at his craft with elite stuff and the ability to command it."
Cole's only defeat since May 2019 was in the World Series opener last year, when he pitched for Houston and lost to Washington.
Since his most recent loss in the regular season, Cole is 20-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 27 starts. The right-hander's 27-game unbeaten streak is tied with Firpo Marberry for the fourth longest in baseball history. Clemens holds the record with a 30-game unbeaten streak in 1998-99, followed by Kris Medlen and Dave McNally at 28 games apiece.
"That's impressive, but it speaks to his consistency and his work ethic," Yankees right fielder Mike Tauchman said.
Cole struck out Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez three times and drew praise from Boston manager Ron Roenicke.
"Obviously a great pitcher makes you chase a lot more," Roenicke said. "Every time I looked up at a strikeout it was on a corner somewhere and it was great stuff. Whether it's 97 [mph] fastball or a great slider or a curveball, it's a great pitch."
The Yankees improved to 7-0 at home for the fourth time since 1959 (also 2017, 1998 and 1987). New York also beat Boston for the seventh consecutive time and is 12-1 at home against the Red Sox since the start of last season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.