TORONTO (AP)New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone saw Gleyber Torres coming to the plate with the go-ahead run in scoring position, and had one thought.
”I was thinking, `No one better right now,’ and he put a great swing on it,” Boone said.
Torres homered early, then hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning as the Yankees won their 10th straight game, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Monday night.
”That’s a good win against a really good team,” Boone said.
It’s the longest winning streak in the majors this season, and New York’s longest since a 13-game run last Aug. 14-27.
”We’re playing really good baseball,” Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery said. ”We’re doing what it takes to win, just playing good defense, situational hitting. It’s nice to win close games.”
The Yankees have won at least 17 of their first 23 games for the eighth time, and the first since 2003. New York’s 17-6 record is the best in the majors.
Giancarlo Stanton singled off Yimi Garcia (0-2) to begin the New York ninth, ending a streak of four perfect innings by Blue Jays relievers. Pinch-runner Tim Locastro stole second, but Josh Donaldson grounded out and Aaron Hicks struck out before Torres lined a single to center field.
”It’s special,” Torres said. ”Every time when I do little things and help my team get a win, that’s great to me.”
Boone said Torres has the ability to succeed in pivotal situations.
”In that spot right there, that’s when Gleyber is at his best,” Boone said. ”Runner out there, Garcia is a tough guy, especially against right-handed hitters. Just a great approach the other way there, and game-winner.”
Clay Holmes (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win and Chad Green worked a perfect ninth for his first save in three chances.
Torres opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run drive off Ross Stripling in the fourth, his third homer of the season.
The Blue Jays dropped to 9-3 in one-run games. Toronto has scored three runs or fewer in five of its past six games.
”Right now every game is close and we haven’t really got it going offensively,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. ”But I believe we will.”
New York put runners at the corners with one out in the third but Stripling struck out Aaron Judge and got Anthony Rizzo to fly out. Judge had homered in his past three games, and had hit five home runs in his previous five games.
Montgomery faced the minimum through three innings but the Blue Jays tied it in the bottom of the fourth. George Springer singled and scored on Bo Bichette’s RBI double. Bichette advanced on a fly ball and later scored on Matt Chapman’s two-out single.
Chapman struck out against Jonathan Loaisiga to end the sixth, stranding Bichette at third.
Toronto’s Alejandro Kirk drew a leadoff walk against reliever Miguel Castro in the seventh and Tyler Heineman hit a two-out double, but Holmes came on and got Springer to ground out.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit back-to-back singles off Holmes in the eighth but Chapman grounded into an inning-ending double play, Toronto’s third of the game.
Montgomery gave up two runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He walked none and struck out five.
Stripling allowed two runs and five hits in four innings. He walked none and struck out three.
All members of the Yankees’ active roster were permitted to cross the border into Canada, indicating they are vaccinated against COVID-19. Canada’s government requires a person must have received a second vaccine dose – or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – at least 14 days prior to entry.
Stanton leaped to the top of the right-field wall to haul in Chapman’s deep drive in the second.
”Amazing,” Torres said. ”I think it’s No. 1 on SportsCenter for a week. Huge catch.”
The Yankees are 14-1 when they hit at least one home run.
Blue Jays third base coach Luis Rivera was away from the team because he is a close contact of a COVID-19 infection. First base coach Mark Budzinksi coached third and field coordinator Gil Kim went to first.
Yankees: OF Joey Gallo (tight left groin) was out of the lineup for the second straight day. Boone said Gallo was available to pinch-hit. Gallo left Saturday’s game at Kansas City in the fifth inning. . INF Miguel Anudujar joined the Yankees as a taxi squad player.
Blue Jays: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo this Saturday.
Yankees RHP Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.26) starts Tuesday against Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah (4-0, 1.44). Manoah is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
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