After the shake-up the Yankees got in Fenway, they needed a bit of a game like tonight in Detroit to sort them out. Jordan Montgomery got the start in the opening game in this weekend series against the Tigers. He threw 91 pitches into the 7th inning, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs, striking out just 4 batters. To be perfectly fair, he was actually really good at fending off the Tigers until a lead-off solo shot in the 5th broke the Tigers onto the scoreboard.
In the 7th, a lead-off single scored on a double and a rare throwing error. That was the end of Montgomery’s outing, and David Robertson came on in relief. But he had a night of rare trouble (for him). He gave up a sacrifice fly that scored the other runner Montgomery was responsible for. Then with 2 outs, Robertson gave up a double and single to put runners at the corners but getting that Houdini strike out to end the inning.
Dellin Betances got the 8th inning and then he had his own struggles. He gave up a lead-off home run to kick things off. A single moved to 2nd on a 1-out double and then scored on another single. A 2-out single then scored another run. So, the Yankees went back to their bullpen to get out of this inning with Chad Green, who took 5 pitches to get a solid strikeout to end the Tigers’ rally. Aroldis Chapman’s 3-strikeout 9th inning helped close out the game with some power.
Meanwhile, the Yankees collected their runs through the game, starting in the 2nd. Sanchez hit a 1-out double and then scored as part of Aaron Hicks’ inside-the-park home run, finishing with the best smile ever as he slid into home plate, by the way. (The first Yankee to do so since 2011.) In the 5th, Andujar led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and scored easily on Brett Gardner’s double. Gardner then scored on Aaron Judge’s single. Judge stole 2nd as part of a strikeout and then benefited from a sloppy throwing error on Didi Gregorius’ at-bat to score another run for the Yankees.
Aaron Hicks led-off the 6th with an into-the-stands home run, a real no-doubter into the right field seats. Fresh off the DL, and Hicks is hitting multi-homer games. And in the 8th, Andujar led-off with a triple and then scored on Ronald Torreyes’ single. After Gardner was hit by a pitch and Judge walked, the bases were loaded. Stanton hit into a little grounder that the lagging Tigers seemed to snap into action and get the out at home. After a pitching change, Gregorius hit into a sacrifice fly to scored Gardner to finish off the Yankee scoring tonight.
Final score: 8-6 Yankees
It’s worth noting that Aaron Judge, who went 1-for-4 tonight with a walk and RBI, is currently batting a whopping .340. Now, it’s hard to accurately judge averages this early in the season. But part of Judge’s average comes from the fact that he is currently on a hitting streak of 11 games after tonight’s RBI single in the 5th. Of course, he’s got a long way to go to catch Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, set back in 1941. But if anyone could do it, it very well could be Judge.