SEATTLE -- With the Yankees down by one run with two outs in the ninth inning, Ronald Torreyes was close to looking silly on a two-strike slider from Mariners' closer Edwin Diaz.
Instead, the Yankees second baseman lunged, with his arms fully extended to foul the pitch off the end of his bat, so much so that it slipped out of his hands and rolled toward the pitcher's mound.
His resiliency paid off.
Even though it went for naught in the Yankees' 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Mariners on Saturday, Torreyes ripped a game-tying single later in the at-bat past the outstretched glove of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager to score pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury from second.
"My mindset was not to make an out at that at-bat," Torreyes said through an interpreter. "It was a really good pitch by Diaz. A really good slider. All I could do is let the bat go and hopefully make some contact. I was able to do that -- foul the pitch off and get a better one to hit."
The moment of triumph came on the coattails of the news that Torreyes is in line for more consistent playing time. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that second baseman Starlin Castro was headed back to the disabled list after reinjuring his right hamstring.
And Torreyes, having a decent season with a slash line of .283/.306/.358, showed yet again he's capable of coming through when the Yankees need him. Sixteen of his 23 RBIs have come in high-leverage situations, according to Baseball Reference.
His heroics Saturday all started with an improbable fouled pitch.
"I don't know how people do that," Girardi said as he shook his head. "I've seen Ji-Man Choi with us do it two times in Spring Training and actually hit a line drive up the middle, and the fact that Torreyes somehow hit that ball, I don't even know. I don't even know how to start with that. It's impressive."
"When you find yourself in a situation like that, instinct takes over," Torreyes said. "You're just trying to make some contact and stay alive."