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Baby Bombers do heavy lifting in homer-fest

Bird hits 2 HRs, goes back to back with Andujar; Judge clubs No. 21; Torres starts it all with first career triple
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Although they may not have much experience competing against the Red Sox, the Yankees' young talent looked like seasoned veterans in the series opener of the renewed rivalry Friday night.

Entering the series, the Yankees ranked 21st in the Major Leagues in runs per game since May 25, averaging just 3.9, but the Baby Bombers woke up the slumping offense, lifting New York to an 8-1 victory.

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NEW YORK -- Although they may not have much experience competing against the Red Sox, the Yankees' young talent looked like seasoned veterans in the series opener of the renewed rivalry Friday night.

Entering the series, the Yankees ranked 21st in the Major Leagues in runs per game since May 25, averaging just 3.9, but the Baby Bombers woke up the slumping offense, lifting New York to an 8-1 victory.

View Full Game Coverage

Gleyber Torres got the offense started in the second inning, when he laced the first pitch he saw from Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez off the center-field fence for his first career triple. The rookie -- who is 21 years, 198 days old -- is the youngest Yankee with a triple in a game against the Red Sox since 20-year-old Mickey Mantle on Sept. 25, 1952.

Video: BOS@NYY: Torres triples to lead off bottom of the 2nd

The ball hit off the wall and rolled away from Jackie Bradley Jr., giving Torres enough time to race around the bases with a sprint speed of 28.7 feet per second, which is 1.7 feet per second above the league average, according to Statcast™. Then, in the fourth, Torres picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to left.

Video: BOS@NYY: Torres lifts a sacrifice fly to left field

"I'm not surprised anymore," manager Aaron Boone said of the young star's success. "Gleyber, big swing to kick things off to kind of set up that first run, then drive in the second run."

The triple in the second set up Miguel Andujar for his first RBI of the night, a looping single to shallow center. That soft contact quickly turned to power in the fourth, when he launched a two-run shot to left for the rookie's 12th home run of the year.

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar plates Torres to open scoring

"They were attacking me inside," Andujar said. "That's what I saw. In that at-bat, I was just looking for something that I could hit up the middle. I just looked for a good pitch to hit up the middle."

Andujar has recorded 39 extra-base hits in 74 career games, which is the third-most in Yankees history through that number of contests (Joe DiMaggio -- 54, Bob Meusel -- 46).

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar drills a 2-run homer to left field

 "From the beginning, the mentality has been to come here and do your job," Andujar said. "Stay positive, enjoy the game, and at the end of the day, just do your job. Is [having an impact so quickly] a surprise? I can't say that I'm completely shocked because of all the work that I've been putting in."

Just six pitches later, Greg Bird -- who had hit .087 in his last 10 games, recording just two hits in 23 at-bats -- hit his own long ball to left, going back to back with Andujar, before logging his second career multi-home run game with a blast to right-center in the eighth. His first came on Aug. 19, 2015.

Video: BOS@NYY: Bird launches 2 solo home runs vs. Red Sox

"It's good. When I'm going that way, it's good. Happy with that," Bird said. "Just ride it out, really. Just ride out the ups and downs. That's the biggest thing. Keep going. Keep trying to find it. Keep working at it."

The Yankees have had a player record a multi-homer game 15 times this season, which is the most in the Majors. No other team has recorded 10.

Video: Yankees slug multiple back-to-back homers

"It was really good to see Birdy impact the ball," Boone said. "Happy for him, and hopefully that's something that can jump-start him a little bit. What we believe he brings is that left-handed on-base power guy in this ballpark, in the middle of breaking up our righties. When he's right, he's a big deal for our offense."

Video: BOS@NYY: Boone on Sabathia, Baby Bombers in 8-1 win

Aaron Judge joined in on the fun in the seventh inning, connecting for his team-leading 21st home run of the season off of former Fresno State teammate Justin Haley. The blast extended Judge's on-base streak to 16 games.

Video: BOS@NYY: Judge drills a 2-run homer to right field

"That's what's going to really take us deep into the year, is when the bottom half of our lineup is going out there and producing runs and getting on base," Judge said. "We know what the top half of our lineup can do, but once you got guys like Andujar and Gleyber coming up big for us, that's a scary thing."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres