Torres’ 2-run homer and dash from first leads Yankees over Orioles 8-4

Gleyber Torres Yankees
New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres watches his two run homer in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, July 4, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Gleyber Torres is exciting. He also is infuriating.

He sparked the Yankees to an 8-4 Fourth of July win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning and scoring the go-ahead run from first base with a daring dash on Giancarlo Stanton’s fifth-inning single.

Torres walked against Kyle Gibson (8-6) and was running on a full-count, two-out pitch when Stanton hit a three-hop single up the middle. Center fielder Cedric Mullins tossed the ball to second as Torres ran through third base coach Luis Rojas’ stop sign and slid headfirst across the plate without a throw for a 4-3 lead.

“That was a very instinctive play,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “It gets him in trouble sometimes, and had they thrown him out of the play, you guys would probably be asking about it. Instead, the crowd goes wild. So it’s that fine line.”

An All-Star in his first two seasons, Torres struggled in 2020 and ’21 before rebounding somewhat last year, when he hit .247 with 24 homers and 76 RBIs. He is batting .258 with 13 homers and 36 RBIs this season.

“I saw the outfield really deep.” Torres said. “When I passed the second baseman, I just anticipated a little early.. I know Rojas (gave) me the stop sign. … If I get out, it’s going to be a bad situation.”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde praised Torres for “running unbelievably aggressively everywhere right now.”

“We’ve got to keep our head up a little bit and get the ball in a little quicker,” Hyde said.

Yankees fans have had high expectations since Torres was obtained from the Cubs in the 2016 trade that sent closer Aroldis Chapman to Chicago. He is signed to a $9.95 million, one-year deal and can become a free agent after the 2024 season.

“Gleyber does have a knack for doing those kinds of things because he’s kind of fearless,” Boone said.

“Sometimes he gets in trouble, so you want to rein it in a little bit, but it’s actually kind of a really heads-up play knowing that ball’s going to come into second.”

Aaron Hicks homered in his second game back in the Bronx after the Yankees released him on May 26 and Adam Frazier followed with a tying, two-run homer in a three-run fifth against Clarke Schmidt (4-6).

Hicks is hitting .264 with five homers and 13 RBIs for the Orioles after batting .188 with one homer and five RBIs for the Yankees. He has been repeatedly booed by fans in the Bronx.

“Just kind of the way this year was going and things I’ve been hearing while I was out there when I was here,” Hicks said. “I kind of assumed that was going to happen.”

Jose Trevino added an opposite-field homer to right in the seventh against Nick Vespi as the Yankees improved to 13-13 since reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge got hurt.

Harrison Bader followed with a two-run double against Bryan Baker, a day after Bader’s tiebreaking, three-run homer lifted New York to a 6-3 win in the series opener.

“He’s got that ‘it’ factor,” Schmidt said.

For more on the Yankees, visit AMNY.com