Jordan Montgomery was bouncing back nicely Sunday afternoon in the Bronx after taking a wrong turn in Queens against the Mets Tuesday night. Then the hubcaps fell off, and the wheels.
Montgomery was strong early against the Royals at Yankee Stadium before suddenly losing his touch, and dropping the Yankees into a pit.
They climbed out to take the lead, but Clay Holmes threw away the save in the ninth, and Kansas City salvaged the finale of the four-game series with an 8-6 win.
Montgomery tossed four shutout innings to open the game, but did not record an out in the fifth and allowed four runs.
“I thought he was really sharp early,” Aaron Boone said. “He was kind of cruising to that point, really efficient. I thought his stuff was really good. It just kind of got away there a little bit.”
The lefty-hitting Vinnie Pasquantino and the righty-hitting Michael A. Taylor drew free passes.
“I lost the strike zone for those two hitters, walked them, and I put myself in a hole,” Montgomery said. “I’m not really perplexed. I walked two guys. I never walk lefties especially. I just walked two guys in a row.”
MJ Melendez followed with a soft single to center, loading the bases.
Nick Pratto was next, and he sent a liner to left. Andrew Benintendi took a dive and the ball just glanced off the tip of its glove. It went for a two-run single.
Maikel Garcia stepped up and sent a double down the rightfield line to make it 3-0 and leave two in scoring position.
Montgomery described it as “unraveling” after his ERA rose from 3.50 to 3.69.
So he exited and Albert Abreu entered. He allowed an RBI bouncer to short by Whit Merrifield for a 4-0 lead.
The run was charged to Montgomery, who had yielded three runs or less in 16 of his first 19 starts. No such luck in these last two.
The Mets had KO’d Montgomery after just 2 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season. They got to him for a season-worst-tying five runs, four of them earned, and five hits, all for extra bases, including two homers.
“Credit the Mets,” Boone said. “I thought [they] had a lot of really good at-bats against him. But that said, he made some mistakes.”
Credit Montgomery for the first through the fourth innings this time. He allowed a single to the second batter of the game and then retired the next 11 batters. He struck out six, four with his curveball, and walked none.
“Throwing strikes,” Montgomery said. “I was 0-2 real quick and put guys away.”
But he came out for the fifth, and it went bad for him in a hurry.
So how does he deal with this latest one?
“Forget about it tomorrow, and take the ball in five days,” Montgomery said.