TORONTO – There was no rumble in the chest when the Yankees arrived at the Rogers Center on Monday, with the Majors’ longest winning streak in their back pockets. The Blue Jays pose too great a challenge, a battle for the top spot in the Eastern League, which is expected to continue throughout the season.
But they should strut a little now. This latest round went to the visitors: Gleyber Torres hit a three-RBI performance by beating Tim Locastro with the clear signal in the ninth inning, helping the Yankees celebrate their 10th straight win with a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto.
“It’s special,” Torres said. “Every time I do my little things and help my team win, it’s great for me. I just seize every opportunity I have and try to do the best I can for the team.”
It’s already been an eventful season for Torres, sometimes the odd man out in a crowded infield mix and still working to raise his numbers after a slow start. The infielder continues to show promising signs lately; Torres hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning that – like the decisive hit – traveled to the opposite field.
“This was a really good win against a really good team,” said manager Aaron Boone. “In the place right there, it’s when Gleyber is at his best.”
Torres’ bench on the ninth-inning was provided by Yimi Garcia after Locastro agreed to pinch-run for Giancarlo Stanton. Most of the crowd at the Rogers Center (at least those not tuned in to the NHL playoffs taking place up the street) should have foreseen that Locastro’s mission was to steal another base.
The Blue Jays certainly did, but still they were unable to stop Locastro, who successfully moved into scoring position by breaking on García’s fourth lane to Josh Donaldson.
“It’s fun, but I’m not in that situation without Giancarlo getting a hit and then Gleyber getting another hit and our pitching staff keeping us in every single match,” Locastro said. “It’s a total team effort and the team wins throughout this stretch.”
Locastro is right that victory No. 10 marked yet another example of how this Yankees club has rattled off victories in various ways – after a high-octane home run in which they mostly surpassed the Guardians and Orioles, the Yanks tried their hands at some small ball during a weekend polish by the Royals in Kansas City. It turned out to be good exercise for their arrival in Toronto.
“Here in May, we are trying to collect as many victories as we can,” Boone said. “Every time you play well and you play an intra-division match, it counts a little more – especially with a team that you think you might be competing against for something more. These are doubly important.”
Although left-hander Jordan Montgomery received some long-awaited running support, he had to settle for this year’s fourth no-decision. Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman hit run-scoring hits in the fourth inning from Montgomery, who worked five plus innings and spread six hits.
“I think this was probably the best my stuff has been for a really long time,” said Montgomery, who did not walk and hit five, throwing only 65 spots. “It’s a little unfortunate that they got a lot of soft-touch hits, but they’s good hitters. To get them out, I have to do a little bit better off the field.”
The highlight of Montgomery’s effort came when Stanton made a hugely leaping catch against the right-wing wall in the second inning, depriving Chapman of an extra-base hit.
“Next to the bat, I thought, ‘I can not let him barrel it up that way,'” Montgomery said. “I thought for sure it was a homer, and then Stanton pulled it back. It was a really good game.”
The Yankees have won 17 of 23 games for the eighth time in franchise history; the club won the World Series in five of the previous seven times (1928, ’32, ’39, ’58 and ’98).
“We are happy; we are on the same page right now, ”Torres said. “Mentally speaking, it’s just, keep doing it and keep winning as many matches as possible.”