Watching the Yankees bat against the Orioles is just comical at this point. One of the best home run hitting teams of all time versus a team on pace to obliterate the all-time home runs allowed record is about as big of a mismatch as you can get. Nothing exemplifies this quite like the season Gleyber Torres has had against Baltimore. The 22-year-old infielder put his name in the history books, smashing two more home runs to add to his impressive track record against Orioles pitching this season.
Torres had already homered earlier today in the afternoon portion of the doubleheader, and stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second with reliever Evan Phillips entering in the fifth inning tonight. Torres wasted little time with Phillips, driving the second pitch he saw to left-center for a three-run bomb.
The second baseman found his spot again in the sixth inning, this time a three-run blast off Tom Eshelman to effectively bury Baltimore. The two home runs Torres crushed netted him a grand total of 13 against the Orioles this season, more than any other player in the Divisional Era. The only player with more in all of baseball history is Lou Gehrig with 14 against the Indians way back in 1936, and Torres has two games to catch or surpass that record.
Torres was firing on all cylinders, but the Yankee offense around him also feasted on more Oriole pitching. Brett Gardner got the scoring started in the first inning, lacing a bases-clearing triple to the gap in left. Yankees baserunners created a run in the third when a wild pitch and a throwing error from catcher Chance Sisco allowed Breyvic Valera to score, and Mike Ford launched the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning to straightaway centerfield for a solo home run.
While the bats sizzled, the Yankees got another solid performance out of opener Chad Green. The right-hander was on a short leash pitching in his third game over the last five days, but managed to give his team an efficient 1.1 innings before handing the ball over to Joe Mantiply.
Mantiply gave the Yankees length by going three innings, but ran into trouble in the third. Hanser Alberto led off with a triple, and scored on a single from Rio Ruiz. Jonathan Villar picked up another single to put Ruiz in scoring position, but Trey Mancini scored them both on a three-run home run out to right.
Brady Lail followed Mantiply, making his major league debut. Lail also had one rough inning where he couldn’t avoid damage, surrendering a three-run bomb to Alberto in the seventh that put the Orioles somewhat back in the game. Still, he managed to get the next three batters out and handed over an 11-6 lead.
Nestor Cortes Jr. attempted to bring things to a close, but couldn’t shut the door on the Orioles in the ninth. Cortes struck out Cisco for the first out, but loaded the bases on singles prompting Aaron Boone to turn to Adam Ottavino. Ottavino stumbled out of the gate, allowing a single to Ruiz that scored two and brought the tying run to the plate, but bounced back by striking out Villar and inducing a soft fly-ball out on Mancini to end the game.
The Yankees’ sweep of the doubleheader improves their record to 11-1 when playing two, and gives them a league-best 46-18 record against divisional opponents. Domingo German will get the ball tomorrow as the Yankees go for another home series victory.