Gleyber Day in the Bronx: Yanks sweep O’s off Torres’ late pinch-hitting heroics

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Sep 13, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees pinch hitter Gleyber Torres (25) hits a two run double in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Just a week ago, many Yankees fans were prepared to abandon the proverbial ship that is the 2020 Major League Baseball season; that sentiment has reversed as the Bombers now are on a five-game win streak with Sunday’s 3-1 afternoon win over the Baltimore Orioles, one which sealed a four-game sweep over the Birds.

Pinch-hitting Gleyber Torres proved to be the day’s hero by doubling in the winning runs late into what was a defensive, hard-earned win and a much-needed morale boost as the Yankees enter the final stretch of this regular season.

JA Happ took the mound on Sunday, where he put up a solid outing with one run, five hits, and five strikeouts.

That one blemish came off a solo home run to first baseman Renato Nunez in the second inning.

It was quickly answered by shortstop Tyler Wade, who sent a dent of his own into the short porch against John Means to tie things at 1-1 in the third.

Looking to take a lead shortly after, the Yankees failed to convert in a fourth inning, one out, bases-loaded scenario as both catcher Kyle Higashioka and second baseman Thario Estrada popped out to end the inning.

The next inning, Happ worked his way out of having runners on the corners with no outs, thanks in part to second baseman Hanser Alberto striking out and third baseman Rio Ruiz being gunned down while stealing third base on the same play.

Adam Ottavino briefly began the sixth inning and was quickly replaced by Jonathan Holder after letting two on.

Holder finished off the inning with no sweat, turning over the rubber to Chad Green to start the seventh inning.

Green pitched through the seventh without a hitch, setting up Zack Britton to shut down the O’s in the eighth inning. 

The Yankees threatened in the bottom half of that inning, putting runners on first and second for the pinch-hitting Torres against lefty reliever Tanner Scott.

He came up huge by doubling to send the two go-ahead runs home, giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead heading into the ninth inning.

That was Torres’ first hit and RBI as a pinch hitter as a pro ballplayer.

Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth, putting down Baltimore in 1-2-3 fashion, sealing the Yankees 3-1 victory.

Ahead of Sunday’s game, manager Aaron Boone updated that the injured Gio Urshela will likely be back in the Yankees lineup on Tuesday to face the Toronto Blue Jays in the start of the team’s next series.

Boone also said that depending on how Aaron Judge’s workout went that day, he could be heading to Scranton as early as Monday, joining Giancarlo Stanton for the next steps of their IL progressions.

Injured reliever Jonathan Loaisiga also threw a bullpen at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, the manager reported.

This win boosts the Yankees to 26-21 while the Orioles drop to 20-26.

More from around NYC