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Yankees defeat Red Sox in home opener

Aaron Judge said that he always circles the home opener when the Yankees’ schedule is announced, looking forward to hearing the ovation as he trots to the first-base line during introductions. This year, those cheers were artificial, but the slugger’s bat remained as loud as ever.

Judge homered for the third consecutive game on Friday, while Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner also went deep. The power display supported Jordan Montgomery’s first win in more than two years as the Bombers celebrated the Yankee Stadium home opener with a 5-1 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

New York took the lead in the third inning as Judge launched a two-run homer off Boston starter Ryan Weber, who also surrendered Urshela’s first homer in a 3 1/3-inning effort. Judge also homered in both games of a two-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore, the fifth time in his career he has homered in three straight contests.

The deep drives supported Montgomery, who notched his first victory since April 21, 2018, against the Blue Jays. Montgomery underwent Tommy John surgery that June and returned to the Majors last September, though he started this season on the Yankees’ alternate training site roster because the club did not expect to need a fifth starter in the first week of play.

Montgomery limited Boston to one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in an 81-pitch effort, issuing one walk and striking out four. Boston’s lone run off Montgomery came on Michael Chavis’ solo home run in the third inning.

Gardner’s eighth-inning homer off Colten Brewer, a two-run shot, snapped an 0-for-12 opening to the season for the longest-tenured Yankees player.