OAKLAND, Calif. – Fresh off their first loss in more than two weeks, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees immediately looked forward.
The Yankees' longest winning streak in nearly 60 years ended at 13 games Saturday when Frankie Montas pitched seven shutout innings and the Oakland Athletics held on for a 3-2 victory.
Judge hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, but that's all New York managed against Montas and the A's bullpen.
“A loss is a loss. It’s time to start another streak, that’s all,” Judge said. “We didn’t get the job done, so it’s time to turn the page. (The streak) showed what we’re capable of. This team is capable of a lot of great things.”
Judge has homered six times in 15 games. His power surge helped the Yankees boost their playoff position and put pressure on AL East-leading Tampa Bay.
Matt Chapman homered for the A's, who had lost six straight and 10 of 12 before handing the charging Yankees their first loss since Aug. 12 in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Yankees trailed 3-0 in the ninth inning when Anthony Rizzo reached on a bloop single with one out and Judge followed with his 29th homer, connecting against Sergio Romo.
But Romo got Giancarlo Stanton to pop out and Joey Gallo to ground out for his first save since 2020.
Montas (10-9) was crisp all afternoon, allowing just two hits. He struck out six and walked one for his first win since July 29.
“Against that lineup, win-streak going and the way they’re going, I don’t know how you can pitch any better than that,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “(Montas) had an edge from the very beginning. A much-needed outing. Fantastic, maybe to an extent as good an outing as he’s had all year.”
The Yankees’ string was their best since a 13-game streak in September 1961 fueled by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. The last time they did better was a 15-game charge in 1960; the team’s record is a 19-game winning streak in 1947.
Montas retired 15 straight after Judge’s two-out double in the first, then fanned Stanton for the second time. Montas got a key 3-5-3 double play after Judge singled in the seventh and clapped his hands furiously after the double play.
“It feels good to give high-fives again,” Montas said. “It felt like all of us did a little bit, did our part to win. We have to bring that mentality into tomorrow and keep rolling.”
Montas set a career high with his 10th win.
“He filled up the zone and was ahead for the most part,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Credit him for being on the attack. He kept us at bay. He had a good slider, the split, good fastball. His strike-throwing and ability to get ahead allowed to make it a tough day for us against him.”
Andrew Chafin retired three batters before Romo pitched the ninth.
The A’s got to Nelson Cortes Jr. (2-2) for two runs in the second, aided by a balk call against the Yankees starter on a pickoff attempt following Tony Kemp’s two-out RBI single.
Nearly three hours after the call, the Yankees left-hander was still fuming.
“At first I didn’t know what I did,” Cortes said. “I usually hang up and try to read the runner and stuff like that. I was very surprised that the third base umpire was the one that gave the call. It cost us a run. Right now we’d be tied in the ninth inning.”
Chapman hit his 21st homer leading off the fourth.
Pitching on seven days' rest, Cortes allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He had four strikeouts and walked three.
BUSY DAY FOR PLATE UMP
Home plate umpire Tony Randazzo had an active afternoon. After the balk call against Cortes, Randazzo and the pitcher got into a brief, heated discussion near the Yankees dugout. In the top of the third, Randazzo was in hit in the facemask by a pitch from Montas that appeared to glance off catcher Yan Gomes’ glove. Then in the bottom of the frame, Randazzo ejected Melvin after replay upheld an inning-ending double play by the Yankees.
Athletics: INF Elvis Andrus was rested after injuring his left arm while taking a check-swing in the ninth inning of Friday’s loss. Melvin called it a stinger injury that happened when Andrus tried to stop his swing. “He’ll probably be in there tomorrow,” Melvin said. … LHP Cole Irvin (hip discomfort) threw a bullpen session and remains on scheduled to start Tuesday in Detroit. … Four days after surgery to repair his broken cheekbone suffered when he was hit in the head by a line drive, injured ace Chris Bassitt is intent on pitching again this season. “The doctors made a mistake in telling me that I’m going to be OK in a couple weeks,” Bassitt said. “When they said that, I said, ‘All right, we’re rocking.’ If everything progresses the way it should, I want to be back before the end of the season and hopefully I am.”
Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery (5-5, 3.69 ERA) faces the A’s in the series finale Sunday. Montgomery has allowed one run or fewer in four of his previous five starts. Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn (0-1, 4.09) makes his third start since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento. Blackburn hasn’t won since June 29, 2018.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports