SEATTLE -- Gleyber Torres flexed some muscle to earn a place alongside one of the most revered names in franchise history, belting a two-run homer on Friday and becoming the youngest Yankee since 20-year-old Mickey Mantle to reach 100 hits in a season.
Torres' 23rd blast of the season came off lefty James Paxton and gave the Yanks an early lead in their 4-0 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field, helping the American League Rookie of the Year candidate continue to build upon his impressive campaign.
"Hitting is not that easy, for sure," Torres said. "We face the best pitchers in the world. I just try to be focused. Baseball is a tough game. We've got some days really good, some days bad. You stay humble, stay focused and try to do your job. If I don't hit, I try to be really good in the field."
At 21 years and 268 days old, Torres is the fourth-youngest Yankee to reach 100 hits. The only players to do so at a younger age were Mantle on April 30, 1952 (20 years, 193 days), Ben Chapman on July 20, 1930 (21 years, 207 days) and Joe DiMaggio on July 12, 1936 (21 years, 230 days).
"It's really been good to see him the last couple weeks now," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "After going through a little funk there where he was struggling a little bit at the plate, he's found it. He's having good at-bats; obviously a big one to get us going tonight."
Torres launched the notable blast in the second inning on an 87.6-mph cutter, a high, arcing blast into the left-field bullpen. The big fly had an exit velocity of 102.6 mph with a launch angle of 37 degrees, per Statcast™, and was projected to travel 376 feet.
Tied with teammate Miguel Andujar (23) for the most homers among AL rookies, Torres has been swinging the bat well after missing most of July on the disabled list with a right hip strain, then struggling upon his return.
He was named the AL's Player of the Week for the period that ended last Sunday, when he hit .478 (11-for-23) with three homers and 10 RBIs. In his last 19 games, Torres has batted .358 (24-for-67) with five homers and 15 RBIs.
"After the DL, I think I tried to do too much," Torres said. "Everybody threw me everything and I swung at everything. Right now, I just try to be relaxed a little bit, try to do my adjustments and take the game a little bit more slowly, and enjoy."