BOSTON (AP)Aaron Judge didn’t homer.
Gleyber Torres only sorta did.
Torres hit a three-run, Little League homer to break a fifth-inning scoreless tie, and the AL East-leading New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Torres had three hits – the big one a single that turned into a round-tripper when he took a wide turn around first base to draw a throw and then made it all the way home after the throw sailed into right field.
”He’s fearless,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. ”A great job of not slowing down.”
A day after homering twice to reach 57 for the season – four short of Roger Maris’ AL record – Judge went 1 for 4 with a walk. He singled in the fifth after Aaron Hicks reached on an error, putting runners on first and second.
Torres lined a single to right, and Alex Verdugo’s throw to the plate was too late to get Hicks. Catcher Connor Wong thought he had Torres making too big of a turn and fired the ball to first but it sailed wide and into the outfield.
Judge came around to score, and Torres slid in head first to beat the relay. Judge was waiting at home to help him to his feet – and celebrate.
”I was exhausted,” Torres said. ”But, I mean, like, happy, too.”
Nestor Cortes (10-4) took a shutout into the fifth inning to give the Yankees the two-game sweep and their eighth win in 10 games. Boston managed just three hits and two walks off Cortes, who struck out seven and gave up one run in five-plus innings.
Clay Holmes pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 25 chances.
Red Sox rookie Brayan Bello (1-6) took the loss even though all three runs he allowed were unearned. He struck out six and walked one, giving up six hits in five innings.
Cortes went to an unusual hesitation move to strike out Rafael Devers in the fourth inning.
After kicking up his right leg as usual, instead of stepping toward the plate he brought it back behind his left leg and gave a lean toward the plate before rearing back with his left arm and letting the ball fly.
”I wanted to do something different with him,” Cortes said. ”As soon as I lifted up my leg, all hell broke loose.”
Cortes said he hasn’t practiced the unconventional windup, and he didn’t even know what he was going to do until he did it. The motion was reminiscent of fellow Cuban Luis Tiant, a three-time All-Star who pitched for the Red Sox from 1971-78.
”I think of it as I go, and all the stuff that comes out is literally as I go,” Cortes said. ”I was just happy it was a competitive pitch.”
The Yankees led 4-1 in the eighth when reliever Jonathan Loaisiga allowed three singles to load the bases with one out.
Devers hit a hard grounder down the line that went off first baseman Marwin Gonzalez’s glove and through his legs, bringing in one run. J.D. Martinez grounded into a fielder’s choice and beat the relay to first, which appeared to score another run.
But a replay review showed he stepped short of the base. The double play ended the inning.
The announcement sent the Yankees running off the field and drew a mixed reaction from the mixed crowd that seemed to be overrun with visiting fans.
When Judge came to the plate in the top of the ninth, a vocal ”M-V-P!” chant broke out – much louder than the half-hearted ”Yankees Suck!” that the Boston fans attempted earlier in the night.
Judge struck out to lead off the ninth, but the Yankees scored one run to make it 5-2 on back-to-back line drives to center field that handcuffed Abraham Almonte. Giancarlo Stanton was given a double but Torres’ shot that Almonte knocked down at the wall was called an two-base error.
Josh Donaldson then hit a high fly ball to center that Almonte handled, drawing a sarcastic cheer from the crowd.
Yankees: LHP Zack Britton, who hasn’t pitched in the majors this season, made a rehab appearance for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He pitched one inning, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches. … OF Harrison Bader (plantar fasciitis), playing his third game for Double-A Somerset, went 2 for 4 with a solo homer.
Red Sox: 2B Trevor Story missed his second straight game after injuring his left heel when he slipped on a base. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi (back) is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Sunday.
Yankees: After an off-day, visit Milwaukee for the start of a three-game series. RHP Frankie Montas (5-12) will face RHP Adrian Houser (6-9 in the opener.
Red Sox: Have Thursday off before opening a three-game series against the Royals in Boston. RHP Michael Wacha (11-1) will face RHP Jonathan Heasley (3-8) on Friday night.
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