Saturday, June 3, 2017

Yanks Hit 4 HRs in 8th, Get Great Pitching, Jab Jays

When you score 24 runs in 3 games, you should win all 3. It did not work out that way for the Yankees in the 1st 3 games of their series with the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. However, 2 out of 3 is acceptable, especially if they end up making it 3 out of 4.

Jordan Montgomery got the start for the Yankees today, and got the job done: 6 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and 3 walks, with 5 strikeouts. Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances surprised people, each of them pitching a hitless inning. It was a surprise for Warren and Clippard, since they haven't pitched well; and for Betances, since he hadn't pitched for a while, which is why Joe Girardi pitched him in a non-save situation.

It wasn't a save situation because the Yankees unloaded the lumber. Back-to-back doubles by Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in the 3rd inning gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Didi Gregorius doubled home a run in the 7th, and at 3-0 the game felt safe.

The Yankees did not leave this to chance. They scored 4 runs in the top of the 8th, all on solo home runs. Brett Gardner hit his 12th home run of the season. Then, 3 straight, or, as John Sterling would say, "Back-to-back-to-back, and a-belly-to-belly-to-belly!" Matt Holliday contributed to the Canadian space program with a 452-foot blast. Starlin Castro and Gregorius added homers. The surprising part is that the Yankees had 4 homers in the inning, and Judge didn't hit any of them.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 0. WP: Montgomery (3-4). He might be a major find. No save. LP: Joe Biagini (1-4). The Yankees are now 3 games ahead of Boston, 3 1/2 ahead of Baltimore, 5 ahead of Tampa Bay and 6 1/2 ahead of Toronto.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon. Luis Severino starts for New York, Marcus Stroman for Toronto.

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