Jordan Montgomery and Aaron Hicks lead the way, Yankees beat Baltimore 8-2

With only three games remaining during their thirteen straight against the American League East, the New York Yankees have gone 5-5. Some great wins during this stretch, but the concern surrounding Masahiro Tanaka remains as he continues to struggle. Last night the Bombers wrapped up their three-game set against the Boston Red Sox, with another victory led by Gary Sanchez with his two home runs and the strong pitching of Michael Pineda. The Yankees have gone 4-1 against the Sox this season outscoring them by a combined score of 27-7. Before the Yankees head west, they wrap up at home against the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles started the season on fire, and have cooled off as of late. However, they are still only three and a half games back in the division, and are 6-4 in their last ten games. The Bombers will need to score early and often this weekend to come out with a series win.

Photo Credit/ Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Friday night in the Bronx the Bombers sent their surprising lefty Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA) to the hill. Montgomery is coming off what could be his best start against Toronto, where he pitched six shutout innings while striking out five. The Yankees are the only team in all of baseball with four starters that have an ERA under 3.75. Montgomery was looking to lower his earned run average, and it would have to be against the hard-hitting Orioles, without slugging third baseman Manny Machado. Montgomery started off the first inning where he left off in Toronto, but ran into some trouble during the second inning. After a walk to Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop hit a long home run on a fly ball to center field putting the Orioles up 2-0.
The Yankees had a tall task in front of them this evening in the likes of Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93 ERA). In his last start against the Bombers, Bundy pitched seven innings, and only gave up two runs. During the bottom of the second inning the Yankees would get those two Oriole runs right back. Starlin Castro hit a homerun on a fly ball to center field which made the score 1-0. Gary Sanchez hustled out a double, and Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly deep into right field which tied the game 2-2 after two innings.

Photo Credit/ Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Montgomery and Bundy would match each other blow for blow through five innings of play. For the Bombers, Montgomery was able to hold the Orioles at two runs through six, but during the bottom of the sixth inning Aaron Hicks decided to give the Yankees a lead. On a fly ball to right field, Hicks hit a solo shot to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead in what had been a game dominated by pitching.

Photo Credit/ Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

With a total of just  94 pitches, Montgomery worked through a career high seven solid innings, and gave the bombers a chance to hand the game to their bullpen and get a victory in game one. The Bombers were not done getting those insurance runs however. During the bottom of the seventh inning Headley was able to reach base on a throwing error by Edwin Jackson. Hicks then hit a towering homer to right field, his second of the game. Aaron Judge worked a walk, and Matt Holliday doubled to deep left center, giving the Yankees a commanding 6-2 lead.

Tonight was one of those nights where hitting was contagious. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Sanchez singled on a line drive to right field, and Didi Gregorius extended his hit streak to 11 games on a sharp ground ball to right field. Headley would walk to load the bases, and Austin Romine singled on a ground ball to right field, that scored Gregorius and Sanchez. After eight, the Bombers lead 8-2.

AP Photo/ Frank Franklin II


Tomorrow night 7:15 PM ET, the Bombers square off with the Orioles in game two of the series. For the Yankees, Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90 ERA) takes the hill looking to continue his great season. And for the Baltimore Orioles, (Chris Tillman, 1-3 5.59 ERA) takes the mound looking for his first victory since May 7th.


Winning Pitcher: Jordan Montgomery (4-4, 3.55 ERA) 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 8 SO
Losing Pitcher: Dylan Bundy (6-5, 3.05 ERA) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
Notables:
Starlin Castro: 1-3, R, RBI (34), HR (10)
Aaron Hicks: 2-5, 2 R, 3 RBI (34), 2 HR (9, 10)
Chase Headley: 0-1, R, RBI (24), 2 BB
Gary Sanchez: 2-4, R
Matt Holliday: 2-4, RBI (39)

Article By: Randy Hancock



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