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Yankees cruise past Orioles for first (exhibition) winning streak of 2021

Jordan Montgomery made his spring debut as the Yankees downed the Orioles in a seven-inning affair.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Just three games into spring training, we’re still awhile away from the stuff that counts. Even so, some things stay constant regardless of whether the score actually matters. The Yankees made their first road trip of the spring, trekking south to take on the Orioles in Sarasota. It’s only March 2nd, but the Yankees took care of the team they’ve gone 24-5 against the past two seasons like it was already the dog days of August. In a seven-inning spring special, the Yankees downed Baltimore, 4-2.

With the starters in, the Yankee offense hummed, putting plenty of traffic on the bases. DJ LeMahieu led off the game against John Means with an 11-pitch at-bat that ended with a single. Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier followed with knocks of their own to push across a run. This game wasn’t televised, so quality video of the on-field events is hard to come by, but the crack of the bat from Frazier’s RBI single comes through beautifully in this shot from Marly Rivera:

They put together another rally in the third, with an Aaron Judge double and singles from Torres and Luke Voit plating a run. Mike Ford drove home two more with a double of his own. Unsurprisingly, the Yankees’ best bats mostly had their way with the Baltimore staff, handling starter John Means, as well as relivers Jay Flaa and Paul Fry. That mismatch should prove beneficial to the Yankees during the 16 scheduled regular-season contests between the two sides.

On the other foot, the Orioles made Jordan Montgomery work. The lefty only yielded one run in his first inning, but had to face seven batters in order to record three outs, ultimately leaving the bases loaded with a strikeout of Stevie Wilkerson. Unfortunately, not only was the game not televised, but there was no Statcast feed to crib any data from. There’s no good way to tell how hard Montgomery threw, how his secondary pitches looked, etc. We’ll have to settle for some distant footage of a Yusniel Diaz whiff:

Montgomery recovered from the uneven opening frame to put together a quick 1-2-3 second inning. He finished with two hits, two strikeouts and two walks in two innings. Montgomery entered spring as the likely fourth starter, and it’s hard to imagine there’s much he can do in exhibition play to change that, in either direction.

Following Montgomery, a series of fringe relievers got their work in. Luis García, Glenn Otto, Trevor Lane, and Brooks Kriske tossed scoreless innings, while Tyler Lyons allowed one run. No member of that group figures to make the team out of camp, though Kriske and Lyons each saw time at the big league level in 2020, and could do the same at some point in 2021.

Having taken two of their first three exhibition games, the Yankees will keep on tuning up with a home matchup against the Blue Jays tomorrow night. Corey Kluber will reportedly make his spring debut then. That’d be a fun outing to keep an eye on, but tomorrow’s game somehow will also not feature on television (or radio). We’ll do our best to keep you abreast of the goings-on anyway.