Blew It. Kansas City 8 New York 6

Clay Holmes blew the save, allowing a 3-run homer to Salvador Perez in the top of the 9th to cough up a 6-5 Yankee lead, sending NY to the 8-6 defeat.

Earlier Jordan Montgomery was brilliant through 4 innings but fell apart in the 5th, surrendering 4 runs and getting yanked. The Yankee offense surged back to take a 6-4 lead that the bullpen couldn’t hold.

And so a simple loss on a hot, sunny Sunday at Yankee Stadium, last day of July — sent reverberations through Yankee Twitter and possibly Yankee management — asking:

  • Does NY has enough starting pitching?
  • Is the bullpen good enough for the stretch run and playoffs?
  • Is Clay Holmes losing his touch?
  • Can Jordan Montgomery get to the next level?

With the trade deadline two days away on August 2nd.

The loss put the Yanks at 69-34, 11.5 ahead of Toronto and 14.5 ahead of Tampa in the AL East. KC improves to 40-62.

1. Monty Pitched Great Until He Lost It

It was an important start for Jordan Montgomery, who had not pitched well last time out. And he was scintillating through 4 innings, pitching shutout ball and striking out batters left and right in the hot sun — 6 in all.

And then came the 5th. He lost the strike zone and walked the first two batters. A single to center loaded the bases with nobody out. Then a fly to left by Nick Pratto that Andrew Benintendi dove for and just missed — it went for a single and 2 runs. Still nobody out.

Maikel Garcia ripped a double down the 1st base line into right for a 3-0 KC lead and Monty was Gone.

“Lost the strike zone for those two hitters,” said Monty afterwards. “Walked them and kinda put myself in a hole. I gave up that hit to left and started unraveling from there.”

Asked if he was perplexed at pitching so well through 4 innings and then having trouble in the 5th, Monty said, “I’m not really perplexed, I mean I walked two guys — I never walk lefties. You just can’t walk two guys in a row — it comes to get you.”

Albert Abreu came in and got 3 straight outs — a groundout scoring an additional run to make it 4-0 KC. But Abreu did his job.

2. Yanks Scored Runs as Soon as Monty Left

As soon as Monty was gone, the Yankee offense went to work against KC starter Zack Greinke, scoring 3 runs to get back in the game.

Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the 5th with a double, and with 1 out, Kyle Higashioka singled him home for a 4-1 game.

DJ LeMahieu followed with a homer to right and it was 4-3.

3. Yankee Middle Relief Does Good

Albert Abreu got 2 more outs in the 6th before being relieved by Wandy Peralta who danced through the rest of the inning, allowing a single and walk to load the bases, but getting a 2-out groundout to end the inning. Phew.

And Jonathan Loaisiga pitched a 1-2-3 shutout 7th.

4. Rizzo 3-Run Blast Puts NY Ahead

That set the stage for the bottom of the 7th, when Aaron Hicks (that name again) led off with a walk against Jose Cuas, Aaron Judge worked a 1-out walk, and Anthony Rizzo hit a 3-run Bomb to put the Yankees ahead 6-4 and erupt Yankee Stadium in joy.

5. Marinaccio Allows a Run

But Ron Marinaccio — who entered with 18 consecutives scoreless innings — allowed a homer to Hunter Dozier to make it 6-5 in the 8th. Marinaccio then allowed a single and walk — and with 1 out was on the ropes — but got a double play to end the inning.

6. Holmes Blows It

And so it was to the 9th with Yankee fans feeling pretty good — the 1-run lead and Clay Holmes in for the save.

But for the second consecutive outing, Holmes didn’t have great control. He got a groundout to start the inning, but then walked Whit Merrifield and hit Bobby Witt Jr. with a pitch — sending up Salvador Perez the homer hitting catcher.

Perez hit a 97-MPH sinker and launched a bomb to center for a 3-run homer and KC 8-6 lead.

Holmes said his sinker was a little off. “For me it’s just trying to find a comfortable grip. I definitely felt like I made enough pitches tonite, but maybe just not at the right time.”

In the bottom of the 9th, DJ LeMahieu got a 1-out single, and Anthony Rizzo worked a 2-out walk to put 1st and 2nd, 2 outs — the tying run at 1st, winning run at the plate. But Gleyber Torres lined out to center for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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