Needing a win, Jordan Montgomery battled through 5⅔ innings and the offense broke out with eight runs to defeat the Angels 8-4.

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Austin Romine powered the Yankee offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scoring a run. The Yankees also got RBIs from Starlin CastroChase Headley, Aaron Hicks, Matt Holliday and two from Didi Gregorius. Gregorius hit his eighth home run of the year (50th of his career) in the second inning. The only Yankee starter without a hit was Brett Gardner, but he walked twice.

“He keeps growing. He keeps trusting all his pitches… he’s doing a really good job spotting [his pitches],” Gregorius said of Montgomery’s poise on the mound.

Romine also contributed on the other side of the ball, as he guided Montgomery to another win. Montgomery pitches to a 2.98 ERA when Romine is behind the plate. The Yankees got clean relief out of Chad Green (1⅓ innings), Dellin Betances (1 inning) and Aroldis Chapman (1 inning).

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In between Betances and Chapman, though, things got a bit sketchy. Joe Girardi wanted to bring struggling righty Tyler Clippard into a game with a big lead to work out some kinks.

“It didn’t work,” Girardi said of his move to Clippard. “He’ll get back on track.”

Clippard came on to start the ninth, and allowed a double to Andrelton Simmons. Then, Martín Maldonado belted his second home run of the game to right field. He lasted just seven pitches. Girardi came out to the mound and had an extended talk with Clippard before he walked off the mound. Yankee Stadium scoreboard operators blasted Chapman’s entrance music to drown out the boos.

The Yankees move back into first place since Salvador Pérez hit an eighth inning home run to power his Kansas City Royals over the Boston Red Sox.


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