Something had to change in order for the results to do the same. And for Montgomery, the change was simple. He stopped caring, or caring too much anyway.
Because of the mental adjustment, the Royals' No. 3 prospect returned to the form that earned him such high acclaim in the first place. Montgomery threw 5 1/3 no-hit innings Thursday night before allowing a solo home run to Cubs' No. 2 prospect Brett Jackson in Omaha's 10-1 win over Iowa.
The lefty finished the day with just two hits and the one run allowed through all seven innings of the second game a doubleheader between the squads.
"It was a good start for me, especially since my last start where I really struggled," Montgomery said. "It's funny how that works. I was just trying to execute my pitches and not worry about what happened last time.
"I thought I had OK stuff, and I was feeling comfortable up there. But it was just one of those nights where everything seems like it's hit right at somebody, so hopefully I can build off that."
After cruising through the first five frames, Montgomery faced the most difficulty in the sixth. After Jackson's homer to right field, the southpaw walked two straight Cubs and allowed a single to Ty Wright to load the bases with one out. But he then struck out Josh Vitters swinging and got Blake Lalli to fly out to left to end the threat.
"That was big for me," Montgomery said. "I made a bad pitch and Jackson, he's a good hitter so he did what he should have done with it. I let myself get rattled a little bit after that, but I did a good job of calming myself down. I tried to get back to the simple things. Whatever happens, happens. ... It was a good momentum builder for me."
Despite Thursday's success, Montgomery, MLB.com's No. 28 prospect, has been unable to master the Pacific Coast League since he first started facing Triple-A bats last season. He was 5-11 with a 5.32 ERA in 2011, and through his 11 starts of 2012, he stands at 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA.
But instead of blaming the advanced bats of Triple-A or the hitter-friendly atmosphere of the PCL, the 22-year-old is quick to point the finger at himself.
"It's definitely me trying to learn how to pitch overall," Montgomery said. "Nothing's going to come easy here, so whether things are going good or bad, I have to have the same mental approach. If I go out there and compete, the rest will take care of itself. That's something I'm really taking away from these last two seasons."
Montgomery wasn't the only Royals prospect to contribute in a big way in the nightcap.
No. 2 Royals prospect Wil Myers hit his fourth home run in the 15 games since he was promoted to the Storm Chasers and added four RBIs to give him 12 over that same span.
"Wil's a really good hitter," Montgomery said. "He adds an extra threat to the middle of our lineup. Just getting to see him every day, he can tear the cover off the ball. It's been fun to see. He's definitely got some pop, and we're all happy to have him with us and on our team."
The Cubs beat the Storm Chasers, 4-1, in the first game of the doubleheader, thanks to two more RBIs from Jackson.