Montas gets Yankee Stadium win that eluded him during time in pinstripes


By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Frankie Montas smiled after a win at Yankee Stadium, the type of pitching performance that eluded him during his time in pinstripes.

Montas ended a four-start winless streak, taking a shutout into the fifth against New York and allowing two runs over five-plus innings in the Cincinnati Reds’ 8-4 victory Thursday that finished a three-game sweep.

“Everybody knows what I can do when I’m healthy,” Montas said.

A 31-year-old right-hander, Montas had an unsuccessful stint with the Yankees. Acquired from Oakland at the 2022 trade deadline, Montas struggled to a 6.35 ERA over eight starts in a season cut short by shoulder inflammation. He went 0-2 in three Yankee Stadium starts, dropping to 0-3 in the Bronx in his career.

He had surgery to repair the labrum on Feb. 15 last year and made his only appearance of the season on the final weekend with 1 1/3 innings at Kansas City.

“My time here, unfortunately, wasn’t healthy, at all,” he said.

Montas became a free agent and signed a one-year deal with the Reds that guaranteed $16 million.

“They came to me and pretty much gave me the confidence to go out there and let me know, hey, you’ve got a lot to give to this game. We trust you. We believe in you,” he said. “Knowing that they have my back when I go out there definitely feels pretty good.”

Montas earned the Reds’ opening-day start, when he pitched six shutout innings to beat Washington.

“He’s been a really successful pitcher at the major league level,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “We have a young group, and he’s taken a leadership role. They’re a really close-knit group. They hang out off the field and they help support each other on and off the field, and Frankie’s been a big part of that. With who we have, that’s been really valuable for us. But mainly he knows how to pitch, and I think we’re just starting to see the beginning of what he’s capable of.”

Montas is 4-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 16 starts, leaving him 44-47 in nine major league seasons that included time with the Chicago White Sox (2015) and Oakland (2017-22) before the trade to New York.

“He’s a bulldog on the mound. He’s just a competitor. He’s a guy you want on your team because you know he’s going to give you everything he has,” said Spencer Steer, whose three-run homer in the fifth inning built a 5-0 lead. “Just really lucky to have him on our team.”

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