BALTIMORE – Gleyber Torres simply owns the Baltimore Orioles.
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, the New York Yankees’ 22-year-old shortstop, has.
In 11 games against Orioles pitching this season, Torres has 10 of his 12 homers, with his latest coming in the third and fifth innings of Wednesday’s game at Camden Yards. Both blasts gave the Yankees needed breathing room as the Orioles hunted a comeback.
The first of the two 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.
The homer came on an 82.9 mph slider 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.
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, and toward the adjacent warehouse and Eutaw Street.
Wednesday marked the fourth multihomer game of Torres’ season. All four have come against the Orioles. Overall, he has six career multihomer games, with five of them having come against Baltimore.
Of Torres’ multihomer games this season, three have come at Camden Yards. Torres also hit two homers in Monday’s win over the Orioles and 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. In his past five games against Baltimore, he has seven home runs.
Torres has a very good chance to set a new single-season record for homers hit by a player against the Orioles franchise. His current 10 long balls versus the franchise 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 break the record.
Along with Torres, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has had his share of success against Baltimore. A fourth-inning homer gave him his ninth against the Orioles this season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Torres and Sanchez are the first teammates on any team to have at least nine homers apiece against the Orioles franchise.
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