Rounding second base and barreling for third, Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres lost his left shoe and was subsequently tagged out in an effort to bag his first career triple.
It really didn’t matter, because New York parlayed a solid pitching performance by Sonny Gray and a home run by Aaron Judge into a 4-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone chuckled when discussing the fifth-inning play involving Torres, who committed the baseball sin of making the first out of an inning at third base.
”We were over there going, `Have you ever run out of your shoes before?”’ Boone said. ”I didn’t even see the throw come in. I saw the shoe go flying, and I was just hoping he could stay on his feet. We can laugh about it now.”
So can Torres, who can be thankful that the nickname ”Shoeless” was long ago taken.
”It was the first time (that’s happened),” he said. ”When I feel it, I just try to go to third.”
Torres had two hits and an RBI for the Yankees, who have won three straight to move a season-high 19 games over .500 (36-17).
Gray (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in six innings with six strikeouts. It was the first time in his 11 starts that he did not issue a walk.
”That’s big for me,” Gray said. ”If I’m throwing strikes consistently and I’m in the zone, good things tend to happen. That was definitely a big positive.”
Judge put the Yankees up 4-1 in the seventh with his 16th home run, a towering shot that went deep into the seats beyond the left-field wall.
Manny Machado hit his 17th homer for the Orioles, who have lost six in a row. Baltimore has scored only seven runs during the skid and been blanked twice.
”We’re just not scoring any runs. It’s a familiar refrain,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles came into the game ranked 13th in the 15-team AL in batting average, tied for last in runs and second-to-last in total bases.
Baltimore wasted a decent start by Andrew Cashner (2-7), who’s won once since April 5.
”He gave up three runs in six innings to a very good lineup,” Showalter noted. ”That’s usually a recipe for a very good chance to win, so you can’t fault him.”
Machado’s homer put the Orioles up 1-0 in the first inning and New York tied it with an RBI single by Torres in the third.
After Torres lost his show in the fifth, Brett Gardner followed with a single and Greg Bird hit a two-out triple off the glove of a leaping Adam Jones at the center field wall.
A two-out double by Austin Romine on a liner over the outstretched glove of right fielder Joey Rickard made it 3-1 in the sixth.
Yankees: 3B Miguel Andujar was not in the starting lineup, but he insisted it had nothing to do with running into Houston’s Yuli Gurriel on Wednesday. ”It was a collision, so you feel the impact,” the rookie said. ”But I’m ready to play.”
Orioles: LHP Zach Britton (Achilles tendon) pitched a perfect third inning for Double-A Bowie, the second game of his rehabilitation assignment. … 3B Tim Beckham (core surgery) stopped by the clubhouse and said he expects to begin his rehab assignment around June 14. … INF Danny Valencia returned from paternity leave and LHP Donnie Hart was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
SOAKING IT IN
Rain is the Baltimore forecast this weekend, and the last thing the Yankees need is another postponement to go with the six they’ve had already. But Boone knows it’s pointless to worry about it. ”It’s something we feel we’re equipped to handle. We have no choice,” he said. ”We’ll just do our best to deal with the schedule that’s in front of us.”
Yankees: Unbeaten in his last seven starts (4-0), Masahiro Tanaka pitches the second game of the series Saturday night.
Orioles: Kevin Gausman (3-4, 4.31 ERA) makes his 18th career start against the Yankees. He has more wins against New York (seven) than any other team.
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