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Down 6-1 early, Yanks ride Gleyber, Gary to W

@BryanHoch
May 21, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Asked to explain their success against the Orioles to this early checkpoint, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sánchez both shuffled and smiled, offering responses that included "luck" and "playing hard." They left out the fact that they are both excellent hitters, and that -- to put things kindly --

BALTIMORE -- Asked to explain their success against the Orioles to this early checkpoint, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sánchez both shuffled and smiled, offering responses that included "luck" and "playing hard." They left out the fact that they are both excellent hitters, and that -- to put things kindly -- World Series tickets will not be printed at Camden Yards this autumn.

Torres continued to ravage the rebuilding O's with his third multihomer performance of the young season and Sanchez belted a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning as the Yankees rallied from five runs down, stunning the Birds with a 10-7 victory on Monday evening.

Box score

"We never give up," Torres said. "That is the really good thing about our team. We always compete, we always fight. We are the Yankees. Always, we have history. We just try to continue. We have a goal. We want to go to the championship, the World Series."

If only they could play all of their remaining games in Charm City, that would be a virtual certainty for the first-place Yankees. The American League East leaders by a full game over the idle Rays, New York has won a Major League-best 21 of 28 contests since April 19, and has secured seven victories in nine tries against Baltimore.

"There was a good vibe, even though it obviously wasn’t going our way early and we were down big," manager Aaron Boone said. "There was kind of that theme, just chip away at this. We were able to hang in there enough. The bullpen did a good job of keeping them [close] so we could continue to chip away."

Torres belted a solo shot in the second inning off Andrew Cashner and went deep again in the eighth against Mychal Givens. All but two of Torres’ 10 homers have come against Baltimore, and he has collected 11 homers and 21 RBIs in 20 career games against the Orioles.

"He's very impressive," Sanchez said through a translator. "At his age, what he did last year and what he is doing now ... Great talent. I think he’s going to be playing this level of baseball for a long time."

The second of Torres' homers drew New York within a run, setting up their ninth-inning rally. Brett Gardner singled and Cameron Maybin doubled to open the frame against Givens, and after a groundout, Aaron Hicks lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly that sent Luke Voit to the plate.

Voit had dropped a foul popup near first base in the sixth inning that preceded Baltimore's seventh run, and the slugger wondered if there were greater forces at play as he lifted a sky-high popup behind home plate in the ninth, watching it spin away from catcher Pedro Severino.

"I think it was God's way of giving me a break for dropping the one earlier," Voit said. "I hit it really high. I know those are tough plays for catchers. Luckily, we caught a break."

Granted that second life, Voit walked, and then Sanchez teed off on a 97.6 mph fastball for his 13th home run, a three-run shot that gave the Yankees their first lead of the evening.

Like Torres, Sanchez has not minded facing the O's, who have served up seven of his homers this year.

"I tried to shorten my swing," Sanchez said. "I've had good results in games against them this year. I am hoping for the same kind of results going forward."

Aroldis Chapman logged his 12th save, giving New York its ninth consecutive win in Baltimore. The streak dates back to July 2018, but it appeared primed to end when Hanser Alberto and Renato Nunez homered off J.A. Happ, who was peppered for six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.

In four starts against Baltimore this year, Happ has allowed 15 runs over 17 1/3 innings, for a 7.79 ERA. He credited Luis Cessa, Jonathan Holder, Zack Britton and Chapman for combining to hurl 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball, helping to set up the big comeback.

"We won in spite of me tonight," Happ said. "The bullpen did an amazing job keeping us in that game, and we fought back every inning. I heard the guys saying, 'We've got a lot of game left,' as I came out of the game. They never lost faith, and I could sense that."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.