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Jordan Montgomery Shuts Yankees Down, Earns Win in Cardinals Debut

Montgomery threw five scoreless frames before leaving the game with cramps.
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The Yankees have had trouble scoring runs during Jordan Montgomery's starts over the last few years, often keeping the starter from factoring into decisions.

It got to the point where Montgomery and his teammates were routinely asked about the offense's inability to provide the southpaw with run support.

Those struggles persisted on Saturday, but this time, a lackluster performance from New York's offense worked in Montgomery's favor.

The ex-Yankee made his first start in a Cardinals uniform on Saturday fresh off a trade deadline deal that sent him to St. Louis earlier this week. Montgomery made a solid first impression with the Cardinals fan base, twirling five scoreless innings against his former club, allowing just two hits along the way. 

Those turned out to be the only two hits the Yankees mustered all night long as St. Louis' bullpen shut the door in a 1-0 win.

Montgomery pitched to weak contact over the course of his entire outing, striking out just one batter while the Yankees produced an average exit velocity of just 85.4 mph. There was traffic on the bases in the first inning—after an Aaron Judge single and Josh Donaldson walk—but Montgomery retired the side, getting Gleyber Torres to ground into an inning-ending double play. 

New York's only other base knock came in the third when catcher Kyle Higashioka reached on a single to left. 

Montgomery was dealt from the Yankees to St. Louis just minutes before the trade deadline on Tuesday, a move that caught everybody involved off guard, especially Montgomery. "Shocked" was a word Montgomery used to describe his reaction to the trade, a transaction that ended his six-year tenure in pinstripes. 

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Shocking would also fit the description of seeing Montgomery stroll out of the home dugout at Busch Stadium, climbing on the mound decked out in Cardinal red in the top of the first.

Montgomery's first career big-league start in another team's uniform wasn't perfect, though. The left-hander left the game after his five innings with cramps, a "precautionary" measure, according to the Cardinals. He threw 83 pitches up to that point with 52 strikes. 

Meanwhile, right-hander Domingo Germán put the Yankees in an early hole, allowing the game's only run in the bottom of the first. After Paul Goldschmidt tagged Germán with a double to left, Nolan Arenado promptly drove him in with a two-out, RBI single.

All things considered, Germán did his job, going five strong innings with just the one run allowed. The right-hander gave up four hits, striking out three while trimming his ERA on the season down to 5.09.

On Sunday afternoon, in the final game of this Yankees-Cardinals series, another pitcher will take the mound in a new uniform for the first time. Yankees right-hander Frankie Montas, who was acquired from the Athletics in a six-player trade ahead of the deadline, is scheduled to make his Yankees debut.

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