Judge's big blast helps Yankees cap grand homestand

18 MAR 2015 Pittsburgh Pirate's Willy Garcia watches his three run homerun leave the yard during the Major League Baseball Spring Training game between the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates at Mc Kechnie Field in Bradenton FL

Making his second career start, Montgomery (1-0) immediately found himself in a first-inning jam. The Yankees also missed a chance to open up 8-0 at home for the first time since 1987. However, their starting pitching still needs improvement and they could make a run for the playoffs if they can acquire a starter like Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox. He made a motion to throw the ball into the seats, then stopped and ran back to Chicago's dugout.

"I think it's a small sample size, but you can look at it two ways - you can look at it that we're not hitting well with runners in scoring position, or you can look at it that we're getting runners on, we've been patient and taken walks, and we've worked pitchers really hard", Girardi said.

As it stands today, the White Sox currently own a almost even 6-5 record while now sitting in third-place in the American League Central division. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for a save for the third straight day, his sixth this season. Pittsburgh had won three in a row.

The game was tied at 2-all with one out in the fifth when Pujols hit his second homer of the season.

Jonathan Holder - Holder tossed one hitless and scoreless inning of relief. Swanson delivered the game-winning hit against reliever Brandon Maurer.

Judge improved to 8-for-26 on the homestand with a leadoff single to right, and Greg Bird, just 4-for-33 on the season to that point, took a 2-and-1 pitch the opposite way into the gap in left-center for a double. He has four homers in 10 games this season, already halfway to his total in 123 games last season.

The New York Yankees now have the most wins in the Major League Baseball with nine and they are on a hot streak.

Charlie Morton (1-1) recorded his first victory with the Astros.

The Miami Marlins shut out the Seattle Mariners 5-0, the Toronto Blue Jays' poor start to the season continued with an 8-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 6-2.

Severino pitched a career-high eight innings, struck out 10 and gave up just three hits - but he surrendered two long home runs, and a Pete Kozma error at shortstop in the seventh set Severino up for the loss.

Jose Ramirez added two hits for Cleveland, and Francisco Lindor ran his current hitting streak to 11 games.

Gonzalez put two on with one out in the ninth. He got ahead 2-0, and when Severino tried to sneak a get-me-over slider past him, Garcia pounced and crushed it out to left for a three-run homer and a 4-0 lead. Heading the charge heading into Tuesday was Starlin Castro, with 19 hits, seven runs and six RBI.

The Yankees are going to be playoff contenders if they can get Quintana to return to NY. The Rays completed a 1-6 trip that followed a franchise-best 5-2 start. "Our guys have given us distance, the bullpen has done a tremendous job, and we've had some timely hitting and big home runs, so it's been exciting".

The decision makers in the Yankee front office remained firm in their belief that Severino should be a starter, and he was told to prepare as a starter prior to the 2017 season. David Peralta, who went 4-for-5, drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks as they split the four-game series with the Dodgers.

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