Jordan Montgomery's debut was nearly perfect.
The 22-year-old lefthander struck out six and didn't allow a hit or walk in 6 2/3 innings during his first start with Yankees' Single-A Advanced affiliate Tampa on Wednesday in Game 2 of a doubleheader. Montgomery (4-3, 2.32 ERA) hit a batter and allowed one unearned run.
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Montgomery, a fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft, retired the first 18 batters he faced. He lost the shot at a perfect game when James reached second base on shortstop Tyler Wade's throwing error to lead off the seventh. Montgomery followed with a wild pitch that moved James to third and then allowed a one-out sacrifice fly that scored James with the tying run. Montgomery hit the next batter and was promptly replaced by Acevedo, who struck out Ben Verlander, brother of Justin Verlander, to end the inning.
When Montgomery, who had been promoted from Single-A Charleston, left the tie game in the seventh inning, the dazzling debut yielded to a pretty incredible finish.
Andury Acevedo, Angel Rincon and Conner Kendrick combined to keep Montgomery's no-hitter alive for 4 2/3 more innings, but Kendrick allowed Lakeland's first hit with one out in the 12th inning, a Jiwan James single. In the 16th, Kendrick finally broke, allowing the winning run to score with one out to give Lakeland the 2-1 win.
Second baseman Abiatal Avelino was 3-for-6 with a home run for Tampa (26-27, 3rd place in Florida State League North, 6 games back).
First baseman Mike Ford was 3-for-3, and Avelino went 2-for-3 during Tampa's 2-0 win over Lakeland in Game 1.
Elsewhere in the minors
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Righthander Bryan Mitchell struck out three in six scoreless innings and gave up just two hits - and seven walks - as the RailRiders beat Pawtucket, 5-1. Mitchell threw 51 of his 105 pitches for strikes. Third baseman Jonathan Galvez went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
(29-24, 2nd place in Eastern League Eastern, 3 games back)
Third baseman Eric Jagielo was 3-for-4 with a double, and leftfielder Danny Oh went 3-for-4 with a stolen base as the Thunder beat Binghamton, 6-4.
(26-27, T-2nd place in South Atlantic League Southern, 5 games back)
Second baseman Angel Aguilar and leftfielder Chris Breen each went 2-for-4 with a double, and the RiverDogs stole seven bases during a 6-3 win over Augusta.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE YANKEES 1
(3-1, T-1st place in DSL Boca Chica South)
First baseman Oliver Cedeno was 4-for-4 with a double and a walk as the Yankees pounded out 20 hits - but no home runs - en route to a 21-2 win over the DSL Mets 1.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE YANKEES 2
(3-1, T-1st place in DSL Boca Chica North)
Shortstop Yonauris Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with three walks and a stolen base as the Yankees beat the DSL Marlins, 7-4.