By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Aaron Hicks homered twice and rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched seven stellar innings to lead the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 on Friday night.
Starlin Castro also connected for the AL East leaders in the opener of a three-game series between division foes. New York has won three straight, outscoring rivals Boston and Baltimore 25-3 over the last three nights.
Jonathan Schoop hit an early two-run homer for third-place Baltimore, which dropped 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees. Dylan Bundy (6-5) tossed six solid innings but lost for the fourth time in his past five starts.
Bundy beat Montgomery 3-2 on May 29 in Baltimore, where the Orioles took two of three from New York. It was a different story in the latest matchup between two promising 24-year-old arms.
Montgomery (4-4) set a career high with eight strikeouts in the longest outing of his 11 major league starts. He was coming off six innings of three-hit ball in a 7-0 win at Toronto.
The left-hander struck out three batters in the first inning and pitched out of trouble in the second following Schoop’s 454-foot homer into the elevated bleachers beyond Baltimore’s bullpen in left-center. He retired 17 of his final 18 hitters, helped by Trey Mancini’s fifth-inning lineout to drawn-in shortstop Didi Gregorius, pinning a runner at third.
Castro homered leading off the second. Gary Sanchez doubled and scored on Chase Headley’s deep sacrifice fly to tie it.
Subbing for injured center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Hicks opened the sixth with a go-ahead homer into The Judge’s Chambers section at the back of the lower level of right-field bleachers, where fans dressed in black robes rejoiced.
New York scored three unearned runs in the seventh following a throwing error by reliever Edwin Jackson. Hicks hit a two-run shot into the second deck in right for his 10th home run, giving him 34 RBIs. It was his third career multihomer game and second this year.
Hicks batted .217 with eight homers and 31 RBIs last season, his first in New York.
Aaron Judge then walked and scored from first on Matt Holliday’s double off the left-center fence. Austin Romine added a two-run single in the eighth.
Bundy was charged with three runs and five hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday, with a right shoulder strain. RHP Stefan Crichton was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. … All-Star 3B Manny Machado sat out for the second consecutive game. He injured his left hand and wrist when he was spiked by Pittsburgh star Andrew McCutchen on a double steal Wednesday. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said Machado was feeling a little better but still a bit sore. Showalter said the team will soon reach a point when it needs to decide whether Machado must go on the DL. “I would think it’d be sooner than later,” Showalter said. … Orioles C Welington Castillo was set to play six or seven innings and get three or four at-bats in a rehab game for Double-A Bowie at Trenton. If all went well, Showalter said, Castillo would be activated from the DL before Saturday night’s game at Yankee Stadium. Castillo has been on the 10-day DL since May 31 with a testicular injury. … All-Star CF Adam Jones was feeling better and back in the lineup after receiving a rest Thursday night against Washington.
Yankees: All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday morning at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida. Chapman said he expects a one-game minor league rehab assignment to follow, and he’ll probably rejoin the Yankees on the West Coast in about a week. He has been sidelined since May 13 with rotator cuff inflammation in his left shoulder, but said he hasn’t felt any discomfort since the day he went on the DL. … 1B Greg Bird played his second game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since his rehab assignment was moved from Class A Tampa. Bird has been on the DL since May 2 with a bruised right ankle.
Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.59 ERA) starts Saturday night against RHP Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90), who is 2-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his past six starts. Tillman is 0-3 in five outings since winning his season debut May 7 against the Chicago White Sox. He has lost his last three starts and was hit hard by the Yankees on May 30 in Baltimore, allowing five runs and seven hits _ three homers _ in 2 2/3 innings.
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