NEW YORK – At first glance, Jameson Taillon appeared to wear a blue T-shirt with a Cubs logo. Upon closer inspection, the large red “C” did not have “ubs” after it, instead there was “offee.”
He had a caffeinated return to the Bronx.
Taillon allowed one hit over eight innings to outpitch Carlos Rodón in the All-Star’s injury-delayed Yankees debut and lift the Chicago Cubs over New York 3-0 on Friday night for their first-ever victory in the Bronx.
“I don’t know if Cubs fans truly know exactly what I’m about when I’m good or when I’m right,” Taillon said by his corner locker in the Chicago clubhouse.
A coffee connoisseur who kept a machine in his Yankees locker, Taillon went 22-11 with New York in 2021 and '22, then agreed in December to $68 million, four-year contract with Chicago. The 31-year-old right-hander entered 2-6 with a 6.93 ERA but retired 23 of 26 batters, limiting the Yankees to just Gleyber Torres’ single to center in the first and a pair of walks.
Taillon (3-6) struck out four, set his season high for innings and didn’t allow a runner past first base in his first victory since June 13.
“Best Cub outing I think he’s had,” manager David Ross said. “The secondary stuff he was landing at will. The mix was just really good.”
Now bearded after two clean-cut seasons in pinstripes, Taillon became the first former-Yankee to pitch eight or more innings and allow no more than one hit at Yankee Stadium old or new, according to Opta.
“I just needed an outing like this period,” Taillon said. “I have a lot of love for those guys over there, so it’s not like I wanted to stick it to them. This wasn’t like any sort of revenge game or anything like that. ... But it does feel good on this stage in New York City to have a good night."
Cody Bellinger hit his ninth home run for the Cubs, who had been 0-12 at Yankee Stadium old and new. Chicago had lost eight regular-season games in the Bronx plus two each as the Yankees swept the 1932 and 1938 World Series.
New York lost its third straight, dropping to 13-16 with a major league-low .214 batting average since Aaron Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe on June 3. Booed repeatedly by angry fans, the Yankees have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of those games.
“What we’re doing right now is just unsustainable,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “You can’t win this way. If you score zero runs, I think it’s typically impossible to win.”
Adbert Alzolay gave up a ninth-inning single to Franchy Cordero and finished for his sixth save in seven chances as the Yankees were held to a season-low two hits.
Chicago, which had dropped eight of its previous 11, tied Toronto for the big league lead with 10 shutouts. The Yankees were blanked for the just the fourth time.
Bellinger drove a fastball in the right-field second deck in the third for his 20th hit in 40 at-bats, Nico Hoerner grounded a two-out RBI single through the right side in the fifth after a pair of walks and Patrick Wisdom added a run-scoring double in the seventh against Ron Marinaccio.
Rodón (0-1), a 30-year-old lefty coming off consecutive All-Star seasons, started his career with the White Sox, spent 2022 with San Francisco and signed a $162 million, six-year contract with the Yankees last winter. He strained his left forearm during spring training and was slowed by a bad back during rehab, causing him to miss the first half of the season.
Wearing high socks, Rodón threw predominantly fastballs (53) and sliders (12), mixing in two curveballs and a pair of changeups. He averaged 95.5 mph with his fastball but got just five misses among 30 swings.
“It was fun to watch him get after it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Rodón allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
“It’s nice to finally pitch in the pinstripes in Yankee Stadium,” Rodón said, "but not the way I wanted to start.”
Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson missed his second straight game because of a bruised left foot and will skip the All-Star Game.
Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (rotator cuff inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day IL and cannot be activated until Aug. 4. ... INF/OF Jake Bauers (bruised left rotator cuff) was put on the 10-day IL and Cordero was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
All-Star RHP Gerrit Cole (8-2 2.79) is 10-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 15 starts against the Chicago Cubs, who start Drew Smyly (7-5, 4.10) on Saturday.