Here are some key takeaways …
– Coming off his last start against the Rays in which he pitched into the seventh inning, Jordan Montgomery got into some early trouble. After a pair of singles from Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano, Ryan Jeffers worked a nine-pitch at-bat before hooking an offspeed pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double.
– Former Yankee Michael Pineda kept the Yankees off-balance in the early going, allowing just one hit over his first three innings of work. In the fourth, the Yankees put a couple of runners on with two outs (thanks in part to a Pineda fielding error), but Gary Sanchez lined out to end the inning.
– The Yankees put themselves in another great scoring opportunity in the fifth, loading the bases following a Miguel Andujar walk and singles from Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu. Aaron Judge then worked a full count and finally took a 3-2 pitch low and away for ball four, scoring the Yankees’ first run of the night. Jorge Alcala came in to relive Pineda, and he immediately spiked a wild pitch with Gleyber Torres batting to bring Gardner in and tie the game 2-2.
– In the sixth, the Yankees loaded the bases again. A Sanchez single was followed by a bullet double to right by Rougned Odor, and Andujar was able to reach on a Willians Astudillo error. Gardner was then able to get just enough of a fly ball to left for a sac fly. Trevor Larnach’s throw home was a good one, but it was cut off (seemingly erroneously) by Astudillo to allow Sanchez to score and give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
– Montgomery couldn’t hold onto his first lead of the game, though. After getting the first two outs in the sixth, Montgomery allowed a single to Larnach. After a mound visit from Aaron Boone, Montgomery allowed a Rob Refsnyder RBI double off the top of the wall in right-center, tying the game and ending his night. The lefty went 5.2 innings, allowing three earned on eight hits with eight strikeouts.
– In the eighth inning, the Yankees used more small ball to take the lead again. After singles from Clint Frazier and Andujar, Tyler Wade came in to run for Frazier at second. Gardner then dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners, and a LeMahieu grounder to second and subsequent wild throw home allowed Wade to score. A Judge fielder’s choice to second base then brought in the fifth run of the game, as the Yankees continued to find ways to score without the long ball.
– In the ninth, the Yankees decided they were finally done with the small ball, as Sanchez and Andujar both launched home runs to left to lengthen the Yankees’ lead. Both players had a pair of hits on the night, as the Yankees had 14 hits as a team.
The Yankees and Twins play the second of three on Wednesday night at 8:10 p.m.
Gerrit Cole will take the hill against Minnesota righty Randy Dobnak.