MLB Roundup: Montgomery gets first win, Yankees beat White Sox for eighth in a row

NEW YORK (AP) — The way Jordan Montgomery keeps his cool on the mound, it’s hard to believe he’s a rookie.

The way the New York Yankees keep winning games lately, it’s easy to forget who they’re missing.

Montgomery took a shutout into the seventh inning for his first major league win, Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in his return to the lineup and the Yankees romped to their eighth consecutive victory by beating the Chicago White Sox 7-4 on Monday night.

“We’ve just kind of found a nice rhythm and a nice recipe,” Holliday said.

The veteran slugger triggered a five-run third with a titanic shot into the raised bleachers beyond the left-center bullpen, his first home run at Yankee Stadium. Aaron Judge added a two-run drive to chase Derek Holland (1-2) with the score 7-0 in the fifth.

Despite playing without injured catcher Gary Sanchez and shortstop Didi Gregorius, the Baby Bombers have rebounded from a 1-4 start with the club’s longest winning streak since a 10-game run in June 2012.

“We’ve got guys in this room that can handle their business and are showing it,” backup catcher Austin Romine said. “They want that opportunity.”

Making his second career start, Montgomery (1-0) immediately found himself in a first-inning jam. But the 24-year-old lefty calmly pitched out of it by setting down slumping cleanup hitter Jose Abreu and streaking Avisail Garcia with runners at second and third.

“Just went out there and kind of stayed within myself,” said Montgomery, who pitched in the College World Series as a South Carolina freshman. “Hopefully the first of many, so I’m not trying to make too big a deal of it.”

Garcia began the night leading the majors with a .465 batting average, yet Montgomery never flinched.

“He’s got poise beyond his years,” Holliday said. “He’s got a very veteran demeanor to him.”

After scattering four hits over the first six innings, Montgomery gave up consecutive singles to start the seventh and then a three-run homer to Yolmer Sanchez, who finished with three hits.

That was it for the 6-foot-6 Montgomery, who jogged off the field to cheers.

“He showed that he is a very good pitcher and that he has the talent to pitch in the big leagues,” Abreu said through a translator.

Red Sox 4, Rays 3

BOSTON — Andrew Benintendi hit a go-ahead, two-run single as Boston scored three unearned runs following a dropped throw by second baseman Brad Miller, and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the annual Patriots’ Day game.

Benintendi had three singles in the 11:05 a.m. start, which coincides with the Boston Marathon, and the Red Sox won their third straight after losing the opener of the four-game series.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright (1-1) allowed three runs — one earned — and nine hits in six innings. He gave up four homers over 1 1/3 innings in his previous start.

Rookie Ben Taylor gave up a run-scoring single to Souza with two outs in the seventh, then retired Logan Morrison on a bases-loaded flyout. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for a save on the third straight day, his sixth this season.

Boston trailed 2-1 in the second when Miller dropped an easy toss from shortstop Tim Beckham for what would have been an inning-ending forceout on Marco Hernandez’s grounder. Benintendi’s single to center put the Red Sox ahead, and Mookie Betts singled for a 4-2 lead.

Blake Snell (0-2) gave up four runs — one earned — and seven hits in five innings. The Rays completed a 1-6 trip that followed a franchise-best 5-2 start.

Indians 3, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Danny Salazar finished six innings strong after a shaky start, Michael Brantley homered and drove in two runs and Cleveland beat Minnesota.

Salazar (1-1) struck out seven and retired 15 of his last 18 batters after allowing five hits and one walk over a seven-batter stretch spanning the first two innings.

Brantley took Kyle Gibson (0-2) deep in the fifth inning, raising his career average in 13 at-bats against the Twins right-hander to .385 with four RBIs.

Cody Allen loaded the bases in the ninth, but he completed his third save by getting Joe Mauer to fly out to center field.

Astros 3, Angels 0

HOUSTON — Charlie Morton and three relievers combined for a five-hitter, Jose Altuve drove in two runs and Houston beat Los Angeles for its fifth straight win.

Morton (1-1) worked in and out of trouble over five innings, allowing five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Chris Devenski followed Morton with two perfect innings, Luke Gregerson threw a perfect eighth and Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his third save. Astros pitchers retired the last 14 batters.

Jesse Chavez (1-2) allowed two runs and seven hits over a season-high seven innings.

Rangers 7, Athletics 0

OAKLAND, Calif. — A.J. Griffin pitched six scoreless innings in his return to the Oakland Coliseum, Nomar Mazara had two hits and three RBIS, and the Rangers beat the Athletics.

Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli added two RBIs apiece to help Texas end a three-game skid.

Griffin (2-0) spent his first two seasons in the majors with the A’s before being released near the end of 2015 after Tommy John surgery a year earlier. He hadn’t pitched at the Coliseum since making his final start for Oakland on Sept. 18, 2013. He looked very comfortable in his return.

The Rangers’ shaggy-haired right-hander allowed one hit and one walk, retired the final 14 batters he faced and finished with eight strikeouts — one shy of his career high.

Three Texas relievers combined for the final nine outs to complete the three-hitter.

Jharel Cotton (1-2) took the loss.


Brewers 6, Cubs 3

CHICAGO — Eric Thames homered in his club record-tying fifth straight game and streaking Milwaukee beat Chicago.

Milwaukee never trailed after Thames hit an opposite-field homer to snap a 3-3 tie in the third inning. Jeromy Burnitz was the other Brewer to homer in five straight games in August of 1997.

Ryan Braun and Jeff Bandy also went deep for Milwaukee, the only team to hit as many as three homers in a game off Chicago starter John Lackey (1-2) last season.

Brewers starter Chase Anderson (2-0) pitched five innings of three-run, seven-hit ball to pick up the victory.

Braves 5, Padres 4

ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning and Atlanta, boosted by Freddie Freeman’s two home runs, beat San Diego for a four-game sweep in its first series at SunTrust Park.

Swanson’s bases-loaded hit fell just in front of diving left fielder Allen Cordoba. The Braves have followed a five-game losing streak with five straight wins.

Jim Johnson (2-0) pitched the ninth.

Kurt Suzuki hit a one-out single in the Braves ninth off closer Brandon Maurer (0-1). With two outs, pinch runner Chase d’Arnaud advanced to third on Emilio Bonifacio’s bloop single in front of Cordoba’s dive.

An intentional walk to Ender Inciarte loaded the bases for Swanson, whose first career game-ending hit again fell beyond the reach of a charging Cordoba.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1

ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn pitched seven shutout innings, Kolten Wong homered and St. Louis stopped a three-game losing streak.

The Cardinals, who had lost six of seven, are 4-9 and still have the worst record in the NL.

Lynn (1-1) allowed three hits and struck out five while walking one.

Seung-Hwan Oh worked around an RBI double by pinch hitter Gregory Polanco in the ninth to record the Cardinals’ first save of the season.

Ivan Nova (1-2) gave up five hits and no walks in eight innings while striking out three.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES — Jake Lamb hit a solo home run in the eighth inning and David Peralta added a run-scoring triple in the ninth to lead the Diamondbacks to a victory over the Dodgers.

J.J. Hoover (1-0) threw two scoreless innings in relief of Robbie Ray to earn the victory and Fernando Rodney blanked the Dodgers in the ninth to earn his fifth save.

It was Lamb’s third homer of the season.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead against Ray, scoring an unearned run in the second on Logan Forsythe’s sacrifice fly and taking a two-run lead on an Enrique Hernandez solo home run in the fourth. It was his first of the year.

The Diamondbacks tied it on RBI hits by A.J. Pollock and Peralta.

Chris Hatcher (0-1) pitched 2 2/3 innings and took the loss.


Mariners 6, Marlins 1

SEATTLE — Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz hit consecutive first-inning homers, Ariel Miranda pitched seven scoreless innings and the Mariners beat the Marlins in Ichiro Suzuki’s first visit to Safeco Field as a member of the 3,000-hit club.

Miranda (1-1) allowed four singles and only one runner to reach second base while striking out five. Nick Vincent pitched a perfect eighth before Evan Scribner allowed Christian Yelich’s third home run in the ninth.

The Mariners won their fourth straight after a 2-8 start.

Cano crushed a 2-1 pitch from Tom Koehler (0-1) 441 feet to right-center for his second home run, a two-run shot that scored Jarrod Dyson.

Cruz followed with his second homer, lining a 1-1 pitch to center to make it 3-0.

By Paul Wager

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