Torres makes debut as young Yankees beat Blue Jays 5-1
NEW YORK (AP) — With a team full of 20-somethings, the New York Yankees played like seasoned veterans.
Luis Severino pitched three-hit ball over seven innings and the youthful Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Sunday even as prized prospect Gleyber Torres went 0 for 4 in his major league debut.
The 21-year-old Torres, who stranded six runners, played second base and batted eighth in a Yankees lineup that didn't include a player 30 or older for the first time since Sept. 29, 1989, according to STATS.
"We've worked really hard, long before I got here, at building this organization from the ground up and they've done a great job," first-year manager Aaron Boone said. "I feel like we're in a position not only to be a really good team in the short-term, but in the long-term."
Didi Gregorius homered, No. 9 batter Austin Romine laced a two-run double and streaking rookie Miguel Andujar had a career-high four hits, including an RBI double, to help New York take three of four in the series from its AL East rival.
The 10 players who started for the Yankees, including Severino, averaged 26 years old — the youngest group they've fielded since Sept. 26, 1970, STATS said.
"It's what everybody's been talking about: We've got a lot of prospects in the minor league system," Gregorius said. "They've got a lot of energy."
The last time the Yankees didn't have a player 30 or older in the lineup for an April game was 1942, according to STATS. With veteran left fielder Brett Gardner receiving a rest, the eldest starter on the field was Romine, the team's 29-year-old backup catcher.
Romine said a buddy texted him about that before the game.
"I thought it was hilarious," he said. "I was used to being the youngest guy. Obviously it's going to change, but I mean, I was 22, 23 catching 40-year-olds. And now I'm almost 30. I had to laugh about it. ... It just speaks volumes to our team."
Teoscar Hernandez homered in the sixth off Severino (4-1), who struck out six and walked two. The right-hander won for only the second time in nine outings against Toronto.
"That's what an ace looks like when he's not perfect," Boone said.
David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman each worked a scoreless inning to finish the four-hitter.
Giancarlo Stanton made two tough catches in sunny left field .
Jaime Garcia (2-1) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays (13-8), who lost consecutive games for the first time since starting the season 0-2 at home against the Yankees. Toronto had won its last five following a defeat.
The Blue Jays went 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position over the final two games of the series and were held to a single run in each.
"It was Severino's day today. You build a lead for him, he's probably going to shut it down, go late in the game," manager John Gibbons said. "It was no day at the beach."
Garcia made his first start against New York. The lefty started eight games for the Yankees down the stretch last season, going 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA.
"I feel personally I didn't get the job done today," Garcia said. "I knew this was going to be a tough challenge. ... Just three pitches pretty much that cost me the game."
Gregorius hit a solo home run in the first inning. He added a sacrifice fly in the seventh after Aaron Hicks stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Russell Martin.
Romine's two-run double came with two outs in the second after Torres struck out with two runners in scoring position. He also grounded into a double play, popped out and flied out.
Andujar drove home a run in the sixth with his second double, giving him 10 extra-base hits in his last six games. He had two infield singles and finished 4 for 4 to raise his average to .308.
The 23-year-old Andujar became the youngest Yankees player to get four hits in a game since Melky Cabrera at 21 in 2006.
"In Andujar and Gleyber, we know we've got two really good players. It's just a matter of when they complete their development," Boone said.
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis was back in the lineup. He missed the previous two games after fouling a ball off his left foot Thursday night in the series opener. ... SS Aledmys Diaz was rested in favor of rookie Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Yankees: Boone said OF Clint Frazier has passed the concussion protocol and could begin playing in games early this week in Tampa, Florida. The team was just waiting for Major League Baseball to clear Frazier for action.
Hernandez has five home runs in 10 career games against the Yankees. Seven of his 12 hits this season have been for extra bases.
Blue Jays: Following an off day, LHP J.A. Happ (3-1, 4.50 ERA) starts Tuesday night at home against Boston RHP Rick Porcello (4-0, 1.40).
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 6.45) pitches Monday night on five days' rest in the opener of a four-game series against visiting Minnesota. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA in four career starts vs. the Twins, but is coming off a pair of rough outings against Boston and Miami.