Montgomery savors first scoreless outing

June 3rd, 2017

TORONTO -- The Yankees continue to rave about 's ability to pitch out of trouble. As he savored the first scoreless performance of his career, the young left-hander departed Rogers Centre replaying the eight-pitch showdown with that ended his outing.

Montgomery had run out of new material to feed Tulowitzki from his four-pitch mix, and the shortstop fouled off four 1-2 pitches before flying out harmlessly to right fielder . The Yankees tacked some runs on late, celebrating a 7-0 victory at Rogers Centre on Saturday.

"I felt good today. They've got a really good lineup," Montgomery said. "Tulo gave me a little trouble that last at-bat, just fighting everything off. He'd already seen everything, it was his third AB. I just tried to mix it up with my fastball up and change his eye level."

That brand of poise is what entices the Yankees about Montgomery, who improved to 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA after throwing a career-high 103 pitches in his 10th career start.

"He's able to expand at times with his breaking balls," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's able to throw changeups, he's able to throw offspeed behind in the count. The kid can pitch."

Girardi said Montgomery had an excellent curveball at his disposal to work out of jams against Toronto's order -- including a key third-inning spot in which he retired Josh Donaldson, and in order. Montgomery also used his fastball, changeup and slider effectively.

"It was the first time we've seen him. I thought he did a [heck] of a job," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He wouldn't give in, he'd throw anything, anytime -- nice little breaking ball to keep you off balance. Effectively wild, really."

Montgomery worked around two walks in the second inning, stranded two men in the third and got Bautista to hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice in the fifth. He walked three and struck out five.

"I'm starting to settle down, starting to learn when you need to throw a ball, when you need to throw a strike, when you can expand," Montgomery said. "Just kind of how to work a lineup and find a tempo."

Yankees outfielder said he has noticed Montgomery generating a lot of awkward swings and misses, as opponents have a difficult time picking up his offspeed stuff.

"He creates a pretty good angle because he's a tall guy and left-handed. He's a little bit funky, throws 92, 93, 94 [mph]," Gardner said. "He's got really good stuff. I think if you look at the last couple of years coming up through the Minor Leagues, you look at his numbers and he's been pretty dominant.

"You don't expect a guy to come up here and just dominate, but you kind of get a good feel for what a guy is capable of doing. That's why he's here."