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Hicks hits 2 HRs, Montgomery pitches Yankees past O's 8-2

Hicks hits 2 HRs, Montgomery pitches Yankees past O's 8-2

NEW YORK -- 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.

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon in offseason training, a significant injury that could cause him to miss part of the 2018 season.

Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday confirmed the torn Achilles tendon. It was not immediately clear how long Britton would be out.

In a tweet announcing the injury, the team said Britton was injured Tuesday while training in California and wished him a speedy recovery.

Britton had 15 saves and a 2.89 ERA with the Orioles this past season. In 2016, had a 0.54 ERA and was perfect in save opportunities with a major league-leading 47.

The left-hander, who turns 30 on Friday, is arbitration eligible after making $11.4 million last season. Britton can become a free agent after next season, which made him a strong trade candidate before the injury.

Britton has converted 135 of 145 save opportunities since becoming the Orioles' closer in 2014.

MORE ORIOLES: GAUSMAN CHANGES HIS NUMBER TO HONOR ROY HALLADAY

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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

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USA Today Sports

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.