(Photo credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
The New York Yankees rallied for five unanswered runs in a 5-2 victory over the host Kansas City Royals on Saturday evening, giving Frankie Montas a win in his season debut.
Estevan Florial delivered a go-ahead single with two outs in the sixth, breaking a 2-all tie, before Gleyber Torres' bases-loaded, two-run single capped the decisive three-run inning.
Montas (1-0), who had right shoulder surgery at the beginning of spring training, pitched for the first time in the regular season since Sept. 16, 2022. He recorded four outs while allowing two hits and a walk with one strikeout.
After Montas' debut, three additional Yankees relievers pitched out of trouble for 3 2/3 scoreless innings as the Royals went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the game. Clay Holmes earned his 24th save, striking out two in a hitless ninth.
The Royals collected leadoff hits in each of the first three innings against starter Clarke Schmidt, who threw four innings, allowing two runs on eight hits.
Kansas City jumped ahead 1-0 in the first on three singles as Nelson Velazquez drove in Maikel Garcia with a bloop hit to left.
After Bobby Witt Jr. was caught trying to steal his 50th base, Salvador Perez connected for his 23rd homer to increase the Royals' lead to 2-0 in the third inning.
In the second inning, Royals opener Steven Cruz gave way to Alec Marsh (3-9), who opened the fourth by throwing nine consecutive balls before allowing two-out RBI hits to Oswaldo Cabrera and Everson Pereira, tying the score 2-2.
Marsh allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Torres, DJ LeMahieu and Kyle Higashioka each collected two of the Yankees' 12 hits.
The Yankees (82-79) sealed their 31st consecutive winning season, the second-longest stretch in major league history behind their own 39-season winning streak from 1926 to 1964.
Royals center fielder Drew Waters exited the game in the fourth inning due to left quad tightness, while Velazquez left in the seventh after fouling a ball off his left knee.
Kansas City (55-106) matched its franchise record for most losses in a season, set in 2005.
--Field Level Media