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Yankees 9, Blue Jays 1: I love it when a plan comes together

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Monty and a monster sixth inning lead to an easy win.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After Adam Warren joined Tommy Kahnle on the DL this morning, the taxed Yankees bullpen needed a rest in the worst way.

Jordan Montgomery delivered.

The lefty tossed six innings of one-run, bend-don’t-break baseball to keep the relievers rested. The Yankee offense exploded in the sixth to help the Bombers coast past the Blue Jays 9-1 on Saturday afternoon. Montgomery navigated through a pair of jams to keep the Blue Jays at bay while the Yanks jumped on Marcus Stroman in a seven-run sixth inning to blow open a tight game.

Like he has for most of the young season, Aaron Judge led the offensive outburst with a home run and three RBI.

Montgomery breezed through two quick innings to start the game, with the help of a full-extension diving catch by Didi Gregorius on a line drive to rob Teoscar Hernandez of a single. With the Yankees entering the game having committed the second-most errors in baseball, they were due for a web gem.

Montgomery ran into trouble in the top of the third when an infield single and two walks loaded the bases with one out for Hernandez, who had blasted a home run off of Sonny Gray on Friday night. After running the count full, Montgomery fired his best breaking ball past Hernandez for a big strikeout, and Yangervis Solarte followed with a fly ball to Gregorius in the outfield grass to end the threat.

Stroman strolled through the first two innings himself, as seven of his first eight recorded outs came by way of the ground ball. With two outs and the bases empty in the third, Brett Gardner worked a walk, and Stroman fell behind 3-0 to Judge. Considering Judge entered the game batting 6-for-15 with three dingers against Stroman (and just the fact that he’s Aaron Judge), you could guess Judge had the green light on 3-0.

He did, and he didn’t miss.

Judge smoked a 443-foot bomb around the left field foul pole, leaving his bat at 116.1 mph for his sixth homer of the season. That gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

Montgomery hit a snag once again in the fifth, walking Randal Grichuk and his sub .100 batting average for the second time to lead off the inning. Back-to-back singles by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Steve Pearce would score Grichuk with nobody out. He once again worked out of further trouble by retiring three straight to hold the 2-1 lead.

Seeking insurance in the sixth, the Yankees rallied with the top of the order as Brett Gardner, Judge, Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton all reached base to start the frame. Gregorius drove in Gardner with a single to right to stretch the lead to 3-1, and Stanton walked on four pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Aaron Hicks followed with a dribbler to the left of the mound, and Stroman tried a Derek Jeter-style flip to the plate, but catcher Luke Maile dropped the ball as Judge slid safely home.

With the bases still juiced, Miguel Andujar continued his solid series by clearing the bases with a rocket double to left to blow the game open and chase Stroman. The Bombers still weren’t through. A Gardner sac fly and a Judge single made it 9-1 to cap off the seven-run sixth and put the Yanks in cruise control the rest of the way.

Thanks to a cozy lead and Montgomery’s performance, Aaron Boone was able to rest David Robertson, Chad Green, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman for the day. A recent lack of length from the rotation made the day of relaxation critical for the bullpen, especially with no days off scheduled for next week.

Box score.