Rookie Jesus Montero twice emerged from the dugout to acknowledge the applause of 45,069 fans at Yankee Stadium after hitting his first two Major League Baseball home runs as New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-10.
“I was dreaming of doing that before. I was always telling myself before, ‘One day I’m going to be that guy,’” Montero told reporters. “It was amazing moment and an amazing feeling.”
Also yesterday, Cliff Lee pitched his league-leading sixth shutout of the season as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 9-0, while rookie Zach Stewart took a perfect game into the eighth inning as the Chicago White Sox swept their double header against the Minnesota Twins.
The 21-year-old Montero, a catcher who was promoted from the minor leagues on Sept. 1, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning yesterday for New York to snap an 8-8 tie and added a two-run shot in the seventh as the Yankees extended their winning streak to five games.
Montero is the first Yankee to hit his first two major-league homers in the same game since Shane Spencer in 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“We always thought that this young man can swing the bat,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “The one thing is, you don’t get too giddy on one game and you don’t get too down on another game.”
Robinson Cano hit a grand slam, his third of the year, and Mark Teixeira added his 36th home run of the season for the Yankees, who have won eight of nine games.
Yankees Extend Lead
New York (86-53) pushed its lead atop the American League East to 2 1/2 games as second-place Boston (84-56) lost 1-0 in 11 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday.
The Yankees and Orioles combined for 13 runs over the first two innings as both starting pitchers struggled. Brian Matusz gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings for Baltimore, while Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia allowed a season-high seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.
New York pulled away behind Montero, who was in the lineup as the team’s designated hitter, a role he could fill in the postseason against left-handed pitchers. In four games since his call-up, Montero is hitting .385.
The Red Sox lost for the fifth time in seven games as Toronto’s Brett Lawrie hit a game-ending home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
It was the second setback of the day for Boston, which lost starting pitcher Josh Beckett to an ankle injury during the fourth inning.
Lee Extends Win Streak
At Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Lee won his seventh straight start to improve to 16-7. The left-hander has a 0.96 earned run average during his streak, while the win extended the Phillies’ MLB-best record to 89-48.
The White Sox won their first game against the Twins yesterday 2-1 behind seven scoreless innings by Philip Humber. In the second game, Stewart finished with a one-hitter as Chicago won 4-0.
Stewart retired 21 batters before Danny Valencia got a leadoff double in the eighth to end the right-hander’s bid to become the 21st rookie in major league history to throw a no-hitter.
Stewart was 0-1 with a 10.98 earned run average in his two previous major league starts. A third-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, the White Sox acquired the 24-year-old from the Toronto Blue Jays along with pitcher Jason Frasor on July 27 in exchange for pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder Mark Teahen.