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New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros: Jordan Montgomery vs. Francis Martes

The Yankees turn to the rookie left-hander, seeking a series win versus the league-leading Astros.

The Yankees turn to rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery, seeking a series win versus the league-leading Astros.
The Yankees turn to rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery, seeking a series win versus the league-leading Astros.
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The second-place Yankees take on the Houston Astros in the second game of a three-game series tonight at Minute Maid Park. The Bronx Bombers won the series opener last night 13-4, behind the pitching of Michael Pineda and Bryan Mitchell, and an offensive outburst to which everyone in the starting lineup contributed.

Pineda pitched very well against a potent Houston offense. He limited the Astros to three runs (two earned), on seven hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked none. He also avoided giving up the long ball. Bryan Mitchell pitched three innings of one-run relief to earn his first save of the season.

Yankees hitters were patient facing Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. He entered the game 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA, and just missed a shutout the last time he pitched against the Yankees. The Bombers figured to have their work cut out for them, but they worked deep counts and managed to get a lot of runners on base. They drove McCullers from the game trailing 3-2, with two on and one out in the sixth inning.

The Yankees scored five runs in the frame, adding four in the seventh and three in the ninth to seal the win. They burned through five Houston relievers, including outfielder Nori Aoki.

Ronald Torreyes was 3-for-3 with two walks, three runs, and a run batted in. Chris Carter went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Brett Gardner was 3-for-6 with three runs scored and six runs batted in. He hit his 15th home run of the year in the seventh inning, a grand slam which turned the game into a rout.

With the win, the Yankees kept pace with the first-place Red Sox. Boston beat the Blue Jays 7-4 in 11 innings last night in Toronto, and followed up with a 7-1 win earlier today.

The Yankees go for the series win over the league-leading Astros tonight. Jordan Montgomery (6-4, 3.53 ERA) will oppose Francis Marte (2-0, 5.51 ERA).

Game 2: Jordan Montgomery vs. Francis Martes

Jordan Montgomery came out of nowhere to win the fifth starter job for the Yankees this year. He has pitched great, and has exceeded all expectations you could have for a rookie and for a fifth starter.

In 14 starts, Montgomery is 6-4 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He has struck out 79, walked 27, and yielded 10 home runs in 81 2/3 innings pitched. Batters are hitting .233 against him, with a .296 on-base percentage, .382 slugging average, and .678 OPS.

The Yankees are 7-7 in games Montgomery has started. Seven of his starts have been quality starts. He gave up three earned runs or fewer in three other starts.

Montgomery has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. In his most recent start on June 26th at Chicago, Montgomery gave up one earned run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked only one in the victory over the White Sox. He has won his last four decisions.

Montgomery is looking to extend his winning streak to five straight today against a tough Astros lineup. Houston leads the league in home runs (128), batting average (.283), runs scored (449), on-base percentage (.348), slugging average (.483), and OPS (.831).

Montgomery will be opposed by rookie right-hander Francis Martes. In four games (three starts), Marte is 2-0 with a 5.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. He has walked 6.1 batters per nine innings, so the Yankees should be patient at the plate and make Martes throw strikes.

Clint Frazier was called up by the Yankees today. He gets the start in right field and is hitting ninth.

Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Time: 7:15pm EDT
Place: Minute Maid Park
Broadcast: FOX (TV); WFAN 660/101.9 FM (Yankees radio)

Today's Lineups

Brett Gardner - LF George Springer - RF
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Jose Altuve - 2B
Gary Sanchez - DH Carlos Correa - SS
Didi Gregorius - SS Evan Gattis - C
Chase Headley - 3B Carlos Beltran - DH
Ronald Torreyes - 2B Marwin Gonzalez - LF
Austin Romine - C Yulieski Gurriel - 1B
Chris Carter - 1B Alex Bregman - 3B
Clint Frazier - RF Jake Marisnick - CF
Jordan Montgomery - LHP Francis Martes - RHP