Montgomery had his worst start of his season in the 5–1 loss to the Royals
After winning the first two games of the series against the Royals and scoring a total of 18 runs in those two games, the Yankees lost 5–1 at Kauffman Stadium in the series finale. Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery allowed more runs in this start than he had in any of his previous six starts.
In his five innings, Montgomery allowed five runs, four hits, three walks, four strikeouts and threw 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes. His ERA went up from 4.19 to 4.81. He didn’t have his best stuff but he was able to keep the team in the game until falling apart in the fifth inning.
Kansas City scored their first two runs of the game in the second inning. However, those two runs could have been avoided as with two on and one out Royals right fielder Jorge Soler hit into what should have been a inning ending double play. A inning ending play did not happen since Starlin Castro couldn’t get a good grip on the ball as he was transferring it out of his glove, and was forced to bounce the ball to first, which Chris Carter couldn’t scoop.
The inning was able to continue and Whit Merrifield and Drew Butera hit back-to-back RBI singles.
In the fifth inning, after retiring the side in order in the third and fourth, Montgomery allowed a 3-run blast to right from Mike Moustakas to make the score 5–0. Walks often come back to hurt a pitcher, and Montgomery gave up his third walk of the game before Moustakas’s homer that ended up putting the game out of reach.
He is a young pitcher who was due for a start where he didn’t keep the team in the game. He took responsibility after the loss and expects to allow fewer runs next time.
“I know the fans expect more from me and I expect more from myself,” Jordan Montgomery said about his performance.
This is what he said when he was asked what adjustments he needs to make going forward:
“Not walking guys. I never walked people in the minor leagues. I don’t know where this is coming from, maybe giving the hitters too much credit. That and home runs. I’ve never had a problem with the long ball in the (minor-league) system or in college, high school, whatever.”
After Montgomery was taken out of the game after the fifth, Chad Green came in from the bullpen and was near perfect as he only allowed one hit in three innings. He retired the side in order in the 7th and 8th and struck out five of those six batters.
Green has been a bright spot since being called up. In his three games, he has thrown a combined 7.2 innings, only given up three hits and has tallied 11 strikeouts to go with only one walk. He is a candidate to get a spot start at some point this season since he was the runner up to Montgomery to be the fifth starter.
The Yankees ruined an opportunity to put runs on the board in the fourth inning against Danny Duffy.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the fourth with a bunt single for the team’s first hit and baserunner of the game. He was originally ruled out but after a review it was ruled that Eric Hosmer’s foot came off the base at first.
Chase Headley walked to put runners on first and second with one out but Duffy was able to get Castro and Aaron Judge out.
The Yankees were not able to do anything against Duffy, who has had a lot of success this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.97 after only allowing three hits and two walks in seven innings and striking out 10.
In the first five innings the Yankees only got the ball out of the infield twice against the left handed Duffy. Duffy really commanded his fastball, curve and changeup and nearly half of his 108 pitches were fastballs.
Castro, who has been on fire of late, hit a double on a first pitch slider off the wall in left to leadoff the 9th. Headley struck out on a 91 mph splitter with runners on first and second for the first out. However, Didi Gregorius was the next better and he hit a grounder between short and third off of Royals closer Kelvin Herrera to drive in Castro for the team’s first and only run.
Aaron Hicks struck out looking on a 98 mph outside fastball with runners on first and second for the second out and Brett Gardner hit a line drive to Emilio Bonifacio in left to end the game.
The Yankees (24–14) wasted many opportunities to score runs as they were only two for 14 with runners in scoring position. That has been basically their only offensive weakness this season.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Judge both had two hits and were the only Yankees with multi-hit games. Castro is now on a five-game hitting streak and in those five games is 9–23 (.391) with one homer, four doubles, five RBI and seven runs scored. He is swinging at more pitches in the strike zone this year, which has helped lead to his .348 average (3rd in AL), 10 doubles (1st on the team) and 26 RBI (2nd on the team).
They are in first place by 1.5 games over the Baltimore Orioles and will now play a three-game set at Tropicana Field against the Rays. Tampa Bay is 21–22 and the Yankees have won four of the six games against the Rays so far this season.