Starlin Castro and Adam Warren came back to haunt their former team, and Aaron Hicks continued his amazing year as the Yanks scored five in the first and bombed the Cubs 11-6 last night.
The win keeps the Yanks in first place in the AL East at 19-9, 1/2 game ahead of the 19-10 Orioles. The Yanks have won 18 of their last 23 games.
Jordan Montgomery was again was steady and kept his team in the game. I’m impressed with his five major league starts so far.
In the first, Brett Gardner, Friday’s hero, picked up where he left off, doubling to lead off the game. Hicks singled on a bunt (bunt more often, Joe) and Gardner scored on a throwing error, Hicks not being able to advance. Castro then doubled in Hicks to make it 2-0. After Judge struck out, Sanchez singled to make it 3-0. Gregorius singled, then Headley doubled in two runs and before the Cubs’ fans were comfortable in their seats, it was 5-0 Yanks.
In the third, Sanchez and Gregorius singled and Sanchez scored on an error.
In the fifth, ex-Cub Castro hit a 2-run HR (6) to make it 8-0. Castro is rivaling Judge for team MVP right now. He’s hitting .381.
The Cubs got two in the fifth (one of the runs unearned because of a two-out error by Didi) and another in the seventh to cut the Yanks lead to 8-3.
Then Hicks basically insured the win with a 3-run HR (6) in the eighth. I, like many Yankees fans, was all over Hicks last year when he hit just .217-8-31 in 327 AB, OPS+ just 63. This year he’s been a revelation as the fourth OF, hitting .355-6-15, OPS+ 216! I don’t know where that came from, but wow, we’ll take it.
Tommy Layne had a terrible bottom of the eighth, giving up three runs that really blows up his ERA, but Adam Warren, who struggled last year with the Cubs before coming back to the Yankees, came in to slam the door. Being back with the Yankees has worked out well for Warren. Last year with the Cubs, he was 3-2, 5.91 before being traded back to the Yanks, for whom he went 4-2, 3.26. This year, 0-0, 0.57 so far. Since Warren wasn’t with the Cubs in the postseason, and since he didn’t pitch well for them, he decided to receive his WS ring in the bullpen privately on Friday than on the field.
Gardner 2 hits, scored 2 runs.
Hicks 4 hits, scored 3, drove in 3, HR.
Castro 3 hits, scored 2, drove in 3, HR.
Sanchez 2 hits, rbi.
Gregorius 2 hits.
Headley 2 RBI
Montgomery (w, 2-1, 3.81) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 earned, 4 W, 3 K.
Clippard 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.50. Threw one pitch, got the out.
Layne 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. 9.45.
Warren 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.57.
The Yanks/Cubs game is the ESPN Sunday night game tonight, then to Cincinnati. More games w/out the DH. You may see Matt Holliday at 1B tonight to get him playing time.