TAMPA — Jordan Montgomery, the 27-year-old lefty who is a favorite to grab a rotation spot with injuries to James Paxton and Luis Severino, looked like an ace Tuesday.
“He has been good all spring,’’ Aaron Boone said of Montgomery, who worked four scoreless innings and retired all 12 batters he faced in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays, striking out five. “From his bullpens to uptick in velocity he was really good. The way he was able to finish, too. We actually went down and we had him throw another 10 or 11 pitches in the bullpen. The curveball was good and the changeup was really good.’’
Paxton will play catch Wednesday for the first time since his Feb. 5 back surgery.
Gerrit Cole was crisp in his fourth outing, handling the first 3 1/3 innings.
With the media not allowed into the Yankees’ clubhouse due to MLB’s decision to keep all nonessential folks out of the room, Aaron Judge stepped out of the clubhouse Tuesday morning to say hello to the media.
Reggie Pruitt, a minor league outfielder for the Blue Jays, made a spectacular catch in left field to deny Miguel Andujar of an extra-base hit that would have scored a run instead of ending the inning. With his back to the plate, Pruitt dived toward the wall and made an over-the-shoulder grab that elicited an ovation from Yankee fans.
Yankees left for Florida’s East Coast following Tuesday’s loss at Steinbrenner Field. They play the Marlins in Jupiter on Wednesday and the Nationals on Thursday in West Palm Beach. As of Monday, Andujar, Gio Urshela, Michael Tauchman and Clint Frazier were on the traveling list. Deivi Garcia starts against the Marlins and Jonathan Loaisiga versus the Nationals.