NEW YORK -- The force is strong with these ones.Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge celebrated "Star Wars Night" at Yankee Stadium with a pair of fourth-inning home runs off Indians starter Josh Tomlin, and Gary Sanchez joined the fun an inning later with a laser of his own in the
NEW YORK -- The force is strong with these ones.
Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge celebrated "Star Wars Night" at Yankee Stadium with a pair of fourth-inning home runs off Indians starter Josh Tomlin, and Gary Sanchez joined the fun an inning later with a laser of his own in the Yankees' 7-6 win Friday.
"First of all, I'm happy for my first one, for sure," said Torres, who launched a three-run shot for his first Major League home run. "I'm super excited for that, but also happy to help my team in that moment by putting up the first three runs."
Rated as the game's No. 5 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, Torres blasted a 73-mph curveball a projected 420 feet, per Statcast™, into the left-field grandstand. At 21 years and 142 days old, Torres is the youngest Yankees player to homer since John Ellis, who was 20 years and 269 days old when he legged out an inside-the-park homer in his May 17, 1969, Major League debut.
The last Yankee as young as Torres to homer over the fence was Bobby Murcer, who did it at 19 years and 117 days on Sept. 14, 1965, at Washington.
"He doesn't play like a rookie," manager Aaron Boone said of Torres. "He's talented. I'm glad he got it out of the way. Big home run, as it turns out. A three-run homer when we hadn't broken through yet on Tomlin. Probably goes up there looking for a breaking ball in that spot, gets it and hammers it. He's just a good player."
The Yankees initially gave Torres the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout. Torres waited patiently, placing his batting helmet atop the bench and removing the guard from his left elbow before he was finally mobbed with a barrage of back thumps and head rubs, at one point receiving a shower of sunflower seeds.
"We were so excited when Gleyber hit the homer," Carsten Sabathia said. "It just brings everybody back to their first one, their first strikeout, things like that. It's exciting to see."
Two batters later, Judge cracked his eighth of the season, rounding the bases for a solo homer and another history-making blast on his own "Jedi Judge" bobblehead night.
The shot, which came on a 1-2 curve in Judge's 214th career game, established Judge as the fastest player ever to reach 64 homers in terms of games played. The previous record was held by Rudy York, who hit his 64th homer in his 215th career game for the 1938 Tigers.
"This team is special," Judge said. "There's always a growing pain in the middle where you've got to get guys comfortable and used to each other. Once this happens, this team's going to go on a pretty good run. Once we all start clicking, it's going to be a lot of fun."
In the fifth, Sanchez outdrove both of his teammates, pummeling an 0-2 Tomlin fastball into the left-field bleachers. The drive traveled a projected 461 feet, per Statcast™, surpassing an April 4 Giancarlo Stanton homer (458 feet) for the longest by a Yankee this season.
It was also the 62nd home run of Sanchez's career, tying him with Mark McGwire for the second-most homers ever through 206 games. The only player on a faster pace had been Judge, who had hit 63 homers at that milestone.
Torres met with a group of fans on the field following Friday's game, swapping an autographed bat and some signed balls for the memento. Torres said that he plans to give the home run ball to his parents.
"I try to be simple and stay humble, and try to learn every day," Torres said.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.