ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Maybe the Yankee is on its way.
With a 3–1 win over the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field, the Yankees transferred to a season-high-games-500 (19–16) and eventually figured out how to beat their most recent Nimes.
After losing five of the first six meetings at Tampa Bay to start the season – including the previous three – the Yankees received a sterling performance from Jordan Montgomery and had enough offense to win their third consecutive game overall.
Montgomery had the best performance since his first start of the season, limiting the Rays to one run on two hits over six innings. The left-hander also matched a career-high with nine strikes and scored just one run.
And in the first game of the 10-game road trip, the vagrants also received solo homers from Aaron Judge and Gary Kachez.
The judge, with a 419-foot shot for his eighth homer of his first season, gave the Yankees a 1–0 lead with a two-point lead.
The Yankees threatened to knock out one in the third, with DJ LeMahieu’s solo and a walk with Giancarlo Stanton. With the judge at the plate, Tampa Bay catcher Mike Zunino then missed a pair of pitches from right-hander Luis Patino.
The first passing ball moved Lehmhiu to third, with Stanton finishing second. The next one gave LeMahieu the score 2–0, and Stanton advanced to third.
Zunino made up for his rogues with a projected 472-foot burst from Montgomery, which was downstream to cut the Yankees’ 2-1 lead.
This was the only mistake Montgomery made in his 85-pitch outing.
He took the lead in the fourth after a double lead by Manuel Margot and a walk from Yandy Diaz. He got some help from Gio Urshela, who made a good stop to end the inning on Kevin Padlow’s hard grounder.
Sanchez added an insurance run in the top of the seventh. On a 1-0 pitch, Sanchez stepped out of the box to try to call on time. Josh Fleming’s pitch was called a ball. On the next pitch, Sanchez gave the Yankees a 3–1 lead for his fourth home run.
Jonathan Loesiga commanded Montgomery to start the seventh and hit two scoreless innings.
The Yankees had a chance to take their lead again in the eighth. Stanton led off with a double and finished third on a single by Judge. With the infield, Urshella hit one grounder to another and Stanton tried to score a goal, but was thrown by Brandon Lowe.
Arolis Chapman entered the ninth. Giller Torres could not handle the Austin Meadows chopper to start the inning. The error was erased when Chapman fired a shot to the backstop and Sanchez grabbed the rebound and fired a second time to get Meadows.
Chapman sided with Diaz before pinch keven Smith arrived. Chapman was visited by the training staff during the at-bat, but Smith and fans remained in the game to get to Lowe’s.
There were no fireworks despite the two vehicles being affected by pitches and tense history between the teams. Petino took Luke Voight in the fourth and Josh Fleming beat Brett Gardner in the seventh.
Last month, Montgomery issued a warning to both teams after hitting Meadows in the right shoulder with a pitch, after which Justin Wilson hit Joey Wendall with a fastball into the helmet.
And it all comes on the heels of Chapman who was suspended in September for throwing a 100 mph fastball near Mike Braseau’s head.