Montgomery, Yankees stymie Blue Jays

Montgomery, Yankees stymie Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Jordan Montgomery turned in the first scoreless outing of his young career before Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius launched late back-to-back-to-back homers, powering the Yankees to a 7-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday at Rogers Centre.

Brett Gardner started the long-ball barrage with an eighth-inning shot, as the Yankees tied a franchise record for homers in a single inning. Jason Grilli became the first reliever in Blue Jays history to surrender four homers in an inning.

"When they go back-to-back-to-back like that, it's pretty impressive," Gardner said. "It's a lot of fun to be a part of. Those were important runs. It's nice to get that cushion and give us a little bit of breathing room. That's good stuff."

Yankees belt four homers in 8th

Montgomery limited the Jays' offense to three doubles over six innings, with the 24-year-old rookie twice pitching out of jams while throwing a career-high 103 pitches.

"All the starters are just trying to go out there and put together a quality start," Montgomery said. "Our bats, everybody's swinging it pretty well, right now. We know we're going to get some run support, so we're just going to keep trying to play good baseball."

Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's error opened the door for Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge to rap back-to-back RBI doubles in the third inning, charging a pair of unearned runs to starter Joe Biagini.

Hicks' RBI double

Gregorius also lifted a soft RBI double in the seventh off Biagini, who permitted three runs (one earned) and four hits over a career-high seven innings. All of New York's eight hits were for extra bases, while the Blue Jays went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, denied an opportunity to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.

"We're getting it from all spots in the lineup, which is really nice," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To be successful in this league, you have to have production from everyone in your lineup. It's what baseball has become. When you get the production we got today -- the home runs, the doubles -- you're going to score runs."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Opening the door: Tulowitzki booted Rob Refsnyder's one-out ground ball in the third inning, and that miscue proved costly behind Biagini. After an out, Hicks flared a soft double down the right field line that chased home the Yankees' first run, and Judge scorched a 116.2-mph rocket to deep center that clanked off of Kevin Pillar's glove to produce the second run.

Judge's RBI double

"Your job is to try and prevent guys from hitting the ball hard consistently," Biagini said, downplaying any perceived bad luck in his start. "Sometimes when you do that, it doesn't work out. But if you continue to do that, you can try to limit the damage and stay within striking distance for some of our hitters. It just kind of went all one way and not the other today." More >

The full Monty: Montgomery's four-pitch mix kept the Blue Jays off balance all afternoon, and his most impressive sequence might have come in the third inning. With none out and runners at first and second, Montgomery got Josh Donaldson to foul out, then got Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales to both wave at curveballs to retire the side.

Montgomery escapes a jam

"I buckled down and got Donaldson to pop up on a two-seamer," Montgomery said. "Really, I'm just trying to throw it out there and let him hit it into the ground, then Bautista struck out. I just kind of slowed everything down and started making pitches." More >

QUOTABLE
"Everyone wants Aaron Sanchez to come back. I do, too, because he looks good in his jersey -- as we've talked about before. He's also really good at throwing baseballs, so I feel like we're a better team with that. I'm just trying to be really appreciative of the opportunity to go hang around on that mound every once in a while in whatever capacity." -- Biagini, on the potential return of Sanchez and his role going forward

"I gave him his minute of being in the lead. I let him have his moment." -- Holliday, on his home run race with Gardner (both players have hit 12) More >

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the fourth time the Yankees have hit four homers in an inning, a feat they last accomplished on Oct. 1, 2012, against Boston. They first did it in an eight-run eighth inning on June 30, 1977, at Toronto. Cliff Johnson went deep twice, while Lou Piniella and Thurman Munson each homered once. New York won, 11-5.

WHAT'S NEXT
Yankees: Right-hander Luis Severino (4-2, 2.93 ERA) will try to continue a strong run of mound work on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET, as the Yankees conclude their four-game visit to Rogers Centre. Severino has allowed just two earned runs in 19 1/3 innings over his last three starts, defeating the Orioles his last time out.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.28 ERA) has been Toronto's most consistent starter this season, averaging nearly 6 1/3 innings per start with two complete games -- thanks to a deep arsenal and high ground-ball rate. His last time out against the Reds, Stroman pitched six innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts and no walks.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Blue Jays on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.