It had been more than two weeks since the Yankees had allowed as many as six runs in a game, and when Nestor Cortes retired the first nine Twins batters he faced on Wednesday, that streak seemed sure to grow.
But in a rare clunker, Cortes and the Yankees faltered, losing 8-1, to end their seven-game winning streak.
The day started with manager Aaron Boone talking about Cortes’ chances of starting the All-Star game, based on the stellar beginning to his season, but the left-hander gave up a season-high four runs in 4 ¹/₃ innings.
Cortes entered with an MLB-best 1.50 ERA, and Wednesday marked the first time he has allowed more than three runs in a start since last season — a stretch of 19 straight outings.
“There’s gonna be ups and downs in a season,’’ Cortes said. “It’s whether you come back the next time and weather the storm.”
The loss to the Twins was also a rarity, as the Yankees had beaten Minnesota five times in a row, and nine out of their last 10 meetings. Since 2015, the Yankees were 30-10 versus Minnesota — but Boone wasn’t interested in those stats.