Montgomery makes his MLB debut, Judge homers for third game in a row in Yankees 8-4 win

Coming into game two of a three game set with the division rival Rays, all Yankees fans eyes are set on the debut of the 6’6” 24-year-old southpaw pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who officially won the fifth spot in the club’s rotation. Kyle Higashioka, who had been called up to catch with Gary Sanchez being on the 10-day disabled list due to a right bicep strain, made his second appearance, and first career start for this afternoon’s game. This was a good move by Joe Girardi, as both have played together throughout the minor leagues, matching up 13 times in AA/AAA last year with Montgomery going 9-1 with a 1.02 ERA, 64 strikeouts compared to 22 walks. Montgomery had a solid outing keeping the team in the game, and the Yankees were once again able to pile on runs in the late innings to cruise to an 8-4 win, which featured a third straight game with an Aaron Judge homer.
Photo Credit: Al Bello | Getty Images


Montgomery came out firing striking out the first two batters he faced to begin his career. After walking Evan Longoria in a good battle, Montgomery threw a fastball to Rickie Weeks Jr. that caught too much of the plate, which was launched for a two-run home run. Montgomery would recover and looked very solid through 3.1 innings with five strikeouts and just one walk along with a hit by a pitch, he allowed a single to Derrick Norris, who tried to extend it into a double, but with a quick Aaron Hicks in left field running down the ball, Hicks was able to make a great throw to Starlin Castro to put a clean tag on a sliding Norris, who was called out. The Rays would elect to challenge the play, but it did not have video evidence to be overturned. As the fourth inning came to a close, the Bronx Bombers’ bats were silenced despite putting up eight runs in yesterday’s victory, with Castro being the only Yankees to record a hit.


After 4.2 innings, the rookie Jordan Montgomery’s day was over with Bryan Mitchell coming in to relieve him, inheriting the runner on second on the leadoff double given up by Montgomery. Mitchell, on his second pitch, got Weeks to ground up the middle, but with a shift on a right handed batter on, Castro was in position but booted the ball allowing the Rays to score another run going up 3-0 through the fifth inning. However, Weeks attempted to get to second on the error by Castro and was thrown out to end the inning after yet another challenging this time by the Yankees.


In the bottom half of the fifth, Chase Headley led off with a single. After an Aaron Judge walk, Rays shortstop Tim Beckham made a crucial error allowing Higashiroka to reached base to load the bases. With the bases loaded and nobody out, both Pete Kozma and Jacoby Ellsbury popped out to the infield Aaron Hicks was then able to put together a great at-bat to draw a full count walk and score Chase Headley for their first run of the afternoon. With Kozma and Hicks working the count, Rays starter Blake Snell was then lifted from the game.


Jumbo Diaz came on in relief to face Matt Holliday, who immediately threw a wild pitch scoring Aaron Judge from third. Holliday then drew another walk to load the bases for the Bombers yet again with two outs. Chris Carter, who somewhat surprisingly was not pinch hit for Greg Bird, popped out in the infield to end the inning.


With a solid afternoon, Starlin Castro seems to be heating up as he lead off the sixth with a single. Headley also staying hot recording another single, and Judge followed that up with yet another Yankees single scoring Castro from second. Higashioka then bunted and reached first after Longoria elected to throw the ball to second base to record the first out of the inning.


Leaving runners on the corner for pinch hitter Brett Gardner, the fourth Yankee run would come home on another Tampa Bay error. Gardner and Weeks would have to leave the game on this play after a nasty collision left them both injured. Ellsbury then singled off Rays reliever Xavier Cedeno to drive in a Yankees run to extend the lead to 5-3. With Ellsbury attempting to steal second on a first and third situation, Hicks grounded into a fielder’s choice at second base scoring the Yankees sixth run of the afternoon.


Tyler Clippard came in to relieve Bryan Mitchell in the top of the seventh. Mitchell did a stellar job giving up no runs, no hits, and no walks in an inning and a third of work. In the bottom of the seventh, Judge hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot to extend the lead to 8-3. Tommy Layne came in the top of the eighth to relieve Clippard of his duties and gave up two hits and an earned run, recording one strikeout to move the score to 8-4 going into the bottom of the eighth, where the Yankees would not score.


Jonathan Holder came on for the ninth inning, but he was chased from the game after recording just one out and giving up two singles. Aroldis Chapman then entered for his first save situation of the season. He would strikeout Kevin Kiermaier to end the game, giving the Yankees an 8-4 win, and their first series win of the season.


Jordan Montgomery, aside from giving up a two-run home run in the first inning had a great debut going 4.2 innings allowing five hits, giving up three runs, with only two being earned to go along with seven strikeouts and two walks. Chase Headley has kept a hot bat racking up a couple more hits with two singles. Starlin Castro appears to be heating up the last couple games recording two more hits as well. Aaron Judge hit another monstrous homer to dead centerfield to drive giving him three home runs in his last three games.


The Yankees will be back in action tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET to try and sweep the Rays, and pick up their fourth win in a row.


Winning Pitcher: Bryan Mitchell (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0.00 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Jumbo Diaz (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3.60 ERA)
Save: Aroldis Chapman (1)

Notables:
Aaron Hicks: 0-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI
Aaron Judge: 2-3, HR (3), 3 RBI, 3 R, BB
Starlin Castro: 2-4, R
Chase Headley: 2-4, 2 R
Jacoby Ellsbury: 1-5, RBI, SB
Jordan Montgomery (MLB Debut): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, HR
Kyle Higashioka (first career start): 0-4, R
Aroldis Chapman: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K, SV
Rickie Weeks Jr.: 1-3, HR (1), 2 RBI, R
Evan Longoria: 0-3, 2 R.

Article by: Hunter Shurtz

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