Pitching collapse, poor defense lead to Rays' 8-4 loss to Yankees

That one was 116.5 miles per hour, and the people who run Statcast say it was the hardest-hit base hit in the major leagues so far this season. He still strikes out more than you'd prefer (28.5 percent of the time for his career), but he also has 209 career home runs, and he's still just 27. The Yankees said Gardner bruised his jaw and strained his neck.

There's no place like home - at least that is what the New York Yankees are hoping.

Errors by shortstop Tim Beckham and Cedeno led to four unearned runs.

A 24-year-old left-hander selected in the fourth round of the 2014 amateur draft, Montgomery had a 3.20 ERA in two starts and four relief appearances during spring training, striking out 17 and walking three in 19 2/3 innings. Montgomery opened with strikeouts of Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier, then walked Evan Longoria and allowed Weeks' long home run to left.

Pineda was taken out of the game with two outs in the eighth.

Weeks had hit his first home run of 2017 in the first inning, a two-run shot off Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery, who was making his Major League Baseball debut. Montgomery hadn't felt that way since pitching in the College World Series his freshman year at SC.

Jordan Montgomery had just one regret in the aftermath of his major league debut with the New York Yankees Wednesday afternoon. And that he was, attacking and continuing to throw strikes in becoming the first Yankees pitcher to be flawless through at least 6.2 innings since Andy Pettitte in August of 2009. Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless inning, Tommy Layne gave up a run on two hits in his inning of work, Jonathan Holder retired a batter and Aroldis Chapman retired two batters.

Jay Bruce scored two home runs as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.

Luis Severino and Michael Pineda didn't fare much better as they struggled in their first attempts to rebound from their disappointing 2016 seasons by allowing eight earned runs and 14 hits in 8.2 innings.

So, on Wednesday, Montgomery will be the second Yankee to make his major-league debut in as many games; catcher Kyle Higashioka did so in the ninth inning of Monday's win, and when he found out following the game that the lefty he caught at both Double-A and Triple-A previous year was coming to join him in the Bronx, Higgy was ecstatic. Gardner crawled to touch first before rolling onto his back, and both left the game. A Hicks fielder's choice brought home New York's sixth run of the game; Judge added an exclamation point in the seventh with a towering blast to dead center field, his seventh HR in 35 career games and third straight contest with a homer.

Tampa Bay's Logan Morrison homered with one out in the eighth, a ball that hit off the top of the wall in right-centre and deflected off a fan before bouncing back onto the field. Brett Gardner got on base after reaching on a strikeout and Ellsbury knocked him in. Freddie Freeman hit his third homer for the Braves.

"Being in your own bed, it's going to be nice", manager Joe Girardi said.

  • Julie Sanders