Jordan Montgomery pitched five solid innings, Chase Headley hit his sixth home run of the year, and Aroldis Chapman earned his 14th save in a tight, one-run ballgame as the Yankees eked out a 2-1 win over the Indians on Saturday. >> Box score
Didi Gregorius put the Yankees on the board in the first inning with an RBI double and the Indians answered in the second inning with a solo home run by Carlos Santana. The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 until Headley's home run in the eighth inning gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Montgomery struck out seven batters and needed just 60 pitches to get through five innings. David Robertson pitched two scoreless innings in relief before Dellin Betances pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two batters in the process. Chapman allowed a hit but nothing more in a 21-pitch save.
Indians starter Danny Salazar allowed just one run and struck out 12 batters, but the Yankees took advantage of his departure after seven innings. Reliever Zach McAllister came on to pitch the eighth and allowed Headley's decisive go-ahead home run.
While the Yankees offense continues to try to find themselves, the pitching staff is doing its best to keep things in check.
In what may very well be the last start of the season for Montgomery (barring injury to another hurler), he was quite good at limiting the Indians' offense. With only 65 pitches thrown, Yankees manager Joe Girardi must have believed Montgomery would not fare well against the Indians the third time through. The other thought would be that Girardi wanted to utilize his bullpen in a tight game because they have not had much of a chance during the losing streak.
Headley, who was much maligned for his poor offensive performance in May (coming off an incredible April), has been very good since June (.308/.380/.422 coming into tonight) and is one of the few Yankees hitting well since the All-Star break (.351/.400/.500 coming into tonight). Headley's go-ahead home run in the eighth gave the Yankees bullpen just enough to work with and the Yankees came up with some huge defensive plays in the ninth inning to nail down the victory.
The Yankees and Indians will wrap up their four-game series on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Luis Severino (8-4, 2.98 ERA) will face Carlos Carrasco (1-04, 3.89 ERA)