NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings Tuesday night for Double-A Somerset in his first minor league rehab start since being sidelined in spring training by a right elbow injury.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out five of the 11 batters he faced and walked none against the Hartford Yard Goats, a Colorado Rockies affiliate. He allowed two hits and threw 45 pitches, 34 for strikes.

New York manager Aaron Boone, speaking before his team’s series opener Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins, said Cole was expected to throw around 40-50 pitches and will probably need “at least a few” rehab outings before joining the Yankees’ rotation.

There’s no specific timetable yet for his return, but Cole has said it’s possible he could be back in June.

The six-time All-Star started facing hitters in simulated games last month. He threw 43 pitches last Thursday at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida.

Cole made one spring training start, on March 1, and the Yankees announced 10 days later the 33-year-old right-hander’s elbow was ailing. He was diagnosed with nerve inflammation and edema and told to rest.

He didn’t throw off a mound again until May 5, the first of five bullpen sessions leading up to his initial session against hitters.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb