DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jordan Montgomery made one last case for a spot on the 25-man roster with five strong innings of work, while Aaron Judge added a pair of hits in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.Montgomery is a dark-horse
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jordan Montgomery made one last case for a spot on the 25-man roster with five strong innings of work, while Aaron Judge added a pair of hits in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Montgomery is a dark-horse candidate for a starting job and he likely will have a difficult time making the team, but he has stuck around this long for a reason. Montgomery limited the Blue Jays to one run on six hits and a walk, while striking out four over five innings. He has allowed seven earned runs over 19 2/3 innings for a 3.20 ERA in six appearances.
"I feel like I had a pretty good camp," Montgomery said. "It started off a little shaky, I got my feet wet just facing big league guys. Once I got comfortable, I feel like I've excelled a little bit."
Judge led the way on offense for the Yanks in going 2-for-3, including an RBI single. Brett Gardner and Austin Romine also added a pair of RBI hits to give New York an early 3-1 lead. Judge's strong game came a few hours after manager Joe Girardi revealed the club is still considering optioning Judge to Triple-A because he needs regular playing time. Other notable performances on offense for New York included a triple by Starlin Castro and a double by Ronald Torreyes.
Left-hander J.A. Happ got the start for the Blue Jays in his final tune-up before the regular season. Happ allowed one run on two hits and a pair of strikeouts over four strong innings. He didn't walk a batter and his lone blemish came in the second when Judge hit an RBI single up the middle. Happ was recently named Toronto's No. 2 starter and his first outing will come on April 5 in Baltimore.
"I think it went pretty good execution-wise," Happ said. "I feel like it has been trending in the right direction and I'm happy about that. … Best case, you feel good, and I feel good about the outing. I was able to execute and get some outs. So we'll take those as positives for sure but, yeah, just keep trying to trend in the right direction is what we were looking for."
First baseman Justin Smoak had a productive day for Toronto with a pair of hits, including a double off the wall in straightaway center field. Smoak thought the ball had left the park, but it actually got stuck at the top of the wall and resulted in the ground-rule double. He later scored when infielder Gregorio Petit hit an RBI single to left. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also chipped in with a double.
Up next for Yankees: Watch live on MLB.TV as Luis Severino takes a final crack at securing a rotation spot on Thursday as the Yankees take on the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET in Clearwater, Fla. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA this spring, and he recorded five strikeouts in three innings of relief last time out against the Phillies. It will be the Yanks' final Grapefruit League game.
Up next for Blue Jays: After enjoying an off-day on Thursday, the Blue Jays will open a two-game exhibition series in Montreal vs. the Pirates on Friday at 7:07 p.m. ET live on MLB.TV. Right-hander Marcus Stroman will start, while former Expos legend -- and current Blue Jays Minor League coach -- Tim Raines will be honored prior to Friday night's game at Olympic Stadium in advance of his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame later this summer.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.