The Philippine Star
Yankees blank Astros in opener
HOUSTON – The youngest Baby Bomber is all grown up. Any surprise Gleyber Torres is doing so well in October? “I mean, not really,” he said. The 22-year-old Torres kept up his postseason surge with a homer and five RBIs, Masahiro Tanaka polished his playoff resume and the New York Yankees blanked the Houston Astros, 7-0, Saturday night in the AL Championship Series opener.
Torres did his part in this matchup of 100-win behemoths with a go-ahead double, a solo homer, a two-run single and an RBI grounder. Moved up to third in the batting order after mashing in a sweep of Minnesota, the two-time AllStar became the youngest AL player to drive in five runs during a postseason game.
“Prepare really well to be here and help my team. So now I got opportunity,” he said.
Brett Gardner, one of New York’s older players at 35, raved about the young second baseman.
“It’s kind of scary for opposing pitchers, but exciting if you’re a Yankees fan,” he said. “He’s just so talented and has a knack for putting the bat on the baseball. No moment is too big for him.”
With so much attention focused on the Astros aces, Tanaka showed he’s more than belonged on this stage, too. He threw onehit ball for six innings to outpitch Zack Greinke, improving to 5-2 with a 1.32 ERA in the postseason.
Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela also homered and right fielder Aaron Judge turned in the key play, catching a line drive and doubling Alex Bregman off first base when it was still 1-0. “Loved our look today,” manager Aaron Boone said. The Yankees will try to build on their early momentum when James Paxton starts against 21game winner Justin Verlander in Game 2 on Sunday night. Houston hardly resembled a club that led the majors with a franchiserecord 107 victories. Jose Altuve, Bregman and their teammates were held to three singles.