Yanks’ Torres ups season HR total vs. O’s to 10

2:44 AM ETColey HarveyESPN Staff Writer ClosePreviously covered Florida State for Orlando Sentinel and Georgia Tech for Macon Telegraph
Northwestern University graduateBALTIMORE — Gleyber Torres simply owns the Baltimore Orioles.But the New York Yankees’ 22-year-old shortstop is trying hard to avoid believing that.”I know a lot of things about how I hit very well in this series in Baltimore,” Torres said late Wednesday. “But I don’t think about that too much. I try to respect, first of all, respect the game, be humble, respect the team and just play.”Still, humble or not, what Torres’ bat has been doing to the Orioles this young season has been downright disrespectful.Sure, a lot of hitters around the majors are having their way with the lowly O’s these days, as evidenced by the 105 home runs their pitchers have allowed through 49 games this season.But nobody has put together the kind of nightly power-hitting display against Baltimore that Torres has.In 11 games against the Orioles this season, Torres has 10 of his 12 homers, with his latest coming in the third and fifth innings of Wednesday night’s 7-5 Yankees victory at Camden Yards. Both blasts gave the Yankees needed breathing room as the Orioles hunted a comeback.”He’s getting himself into a really strong hitting position a lot, and getting his A-swing off a lot, and the power’s pretty special,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.The first of the two home runs came on a 1-2 slider that stayed in the middle of the strike zone. Lined toward the bullpens beyond the center-field fence, the ball landed an estimated 424 feet away, near the pitching rubber in the Orioles pen.That one came on an 82.9 mph toss from Orioles starter Dan Straily. It was the third time a Straily slider had been hit for a homer in the game. DJ LeMahieu and Thairo Estrada had both homered off sliders in the second inning.Straily has allowed a major league-leading seven homers off of sliders.Orioles manager Brandon Hyde believed Straily practically served the homer up to Torres on a platter, given its poor location.”There’s definitely a pitching plan [against Torres]; it’s definitely not to throw the ball in the middle of the plate — and we just continue to do it,” Hyde said. “When you don’t do it, we get him out.”Gleyber’s got two homers besides facing the Orioles. Hitting like .220 or something. So people, major league pitchers, are pitching to him.”Torres actually is hitting .250 against all other teams. Versus the Orioles, he is batting .465, with a whopping 1.763 OPS.Torres’ second homer came off a fastball. As reliever Gabriel Ynoa tried to paint the outside corner with the 93 mph pitch, the right-handed-hitting Torres went with it, lining the ball over the high scoreboard in right, toward the adjacent warehouse and Eutaw Street.”Gleyber’s a good player,” Hyde said. “He had a really nice piece of hitting, knocking the ball the other way; you tip your hat on something like that. But the other stuff, that’s inexcusable at this level.”Wednesday’s outing marked the fourth multihomer game of Torres’ season. All four have come against the Orioles, with three at Camden Yards. Overall, he has six career multihomer games, with five of them having come against Baltimore.Torres hit two homers in Monday’s win at Baltimore and two in the first game of a doubleheader against the O’s last week at Yankee Stadium. He had another homer in the other game of the doubleheader. So, in his past five games against Baltimore, he has seven home runs.”Any time you have that kind of short stretch with that much success against someone, yeah, you just kind of shake your head at it a little bit,” Boone said. “It’s one of those things that’s unusual and rare, and he’s very locked in.”Torres has a very good chance to break the single-season record for homers hit by a player against the Orioles franchise. His 10 long balls versus the team are only two shy of the mark shared by three players: Lou Gehrig (1931), Hank Greenberg (1946), and Gus Zernial (1951). At the time each of those players hit 12 homers against the organization, the Orioles were known as the St. Louis Browns.With eight games left between the Yankees and Orioles this season, Torres has plenty of time to surpass the mark.Along with Torres, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has had his share of success against Baltimore. A fourth-inning homer on Wednesday gave Sanchez nine against the Orioles this season.According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Torres and Sanchez are the first teammates on any squad to have at least nine home runs apiece against the Orioles franchise in the same season.

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