Nestor Cortes Jr. may have pitched the best game of his career on Sunday, striking out 12 Orioles batters over five innings of shutout ball.
The highlight of his outing came in the fourth inning when Cortes struck out the side on nine pitches — an immaculate inning, a rare feat to accomplish at the major-league level.
But as catcher Kyle Higashioka jogged off the field after Robinson Chirinos struck out swinging, he tossed the ball into the stands much to the dismay of his teammates.
As Higashioka entered the dugout several players were giving him grief for losing what was a memorable achievement for Cortes.
Luckily for the southpaw, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was able to track down the fan who got the ball and retrieve for Cortes in exchange for another ball.
The fan who got it also appeared to be a Yankee fan, which probably helped make the exchange go a little more smoothly.
Cortes’ immaculate inning came during a stretch of six consecutive strikeouts. His 12 strikeouts were a career-high, surpassing his previous best of 11 which also came against the Orioles last September.