Yankees still most valuable Major League Baseball franchise

He flirted with a ideal game, sitting down the Rays' first 20 batters en route to a two-hitter in an 8-1 win by the New York Yankees.

"He just kind of pitched himself into it", said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who announced the decision Monday after NY beat the Rays 8-1 in its home opener. Gardner would later leave the game after a brutal collision with Rickie Weeks.

About three minutes after Stewart's observation, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria laced a double to end Pineda's bid for perfection. Chase Headley had two more hits and scored the tiebreaking run when Brett Gardner reached on a throwing error by Xavier Cedeno.

Before Longoria's hit, Joe Girardi said the feeling in the dugout was that Pineda had the kind of stuff that might produce something historic.

According to the NY Yankees PR department, Montgomery is just the second Yankee lefthanded starting pitcher since 1913 to record seven or more strikeouts in his Major League debut, joining Al Leiter in that exclusive club.

He ended the fifth inning by striking out Logan Morrison, and fans were on their feet when he struck out Tim Beckham to end the sixth. He took a ideal game into the seventh inning against Tampa Bay and his team won 8-1.

"I thought he pitched out of jams really well", Girardi said. After erasing a 3-0, fifth-inning deficit against the Rays, the Yankees have a chance Thursday to move over.500 for the first time this season.

But there was a moment, and at Yankee Stadium where this looked like to be another special day in the Bronx.

"We've got to play a cleaner game for sure to win", Rays manager Kevin Cash said. Cash told reporters Weeks avoided serious injury but was clear with reporters that Weeks's inexperience at the position (just three career starts a first) was not a factor. Montgomery tossed four flawless innings to close out a combined no-hitter with two other pitchers before making two starts.

Harper drove in three runs during his first four-hit game since April 17, 2013.

With his parents, Raury and Jim, on hand after driving up from SC, the Sumter native threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes - including 17 missed swings. Unfortunately they don't get it. In between Dickerson's home run and Derek Norris' strikeout, there were 7 more hits and 3 more earned runs. In his last start at New York, Cobb took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and wound up with a no-decision when the Yankees won in the ninth inning on September 11, 2014.

Tampa Bay's Matt Andriese will make his second start - and hope it goes better than his season debut and spring training.

  • Julie Sanders