EditorsNote: Adds Twins set MLB record for longest playoff losing streak in graf 9
NEW YORK — Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu hit bases-loaded doubles, and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 10-4 Friday night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
The Yankees beat the Twins for the 11th straight time in the postseason, dating back to Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS, by overcoming three Minnesota homers and an early two-run deficit.
Torres snapped a 3-3 tie with one out in the fifth inning off Tyler Duffey. He fell behind 0-2, reached a full count, fouled off another pitch and then ripped a fastball that deflected off third baseman Miguel Sano’s glove into left field.
Torres’ clutch hit scored Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner after they had reached against Zack Littell (0-1).
“He’s been doing that all year,” LeMahieu said of Torres. “He’s 22 and no situation is too big for him. He’s an impressive player.”
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI double in the third before the Yankees scored twice on a fielding error by first baseman C.J. Cron on a potential double-play grounder by Torres.
LeMahieu and Gardner hit solo homers in the sixth off Cody Stashak, putting New York up 7-4. LeMahieu extended the lead to 10-4 in the seventh with a two-out, three-run double off Kyle Gibson after the Yankees loaded the bases on three walks.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score with a lot of guys on base,” LeMahieu said. “We did a really good job against their pitchers. ... Every one of their pitchers that came in pretty much had tough innings against us, hard-fought innings. So I guess to come through there in a couple situations felt good.”
As for the Twins, they have now lost 14 straight playoff games dating back to 2004 to set a major league record for longest postseason losing streak. They surpassed the mark Boston set from 1986-1995.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said of the Yankees, “They have a good offense, so they’re a team that you know is going to have good at-bats. You know that they’re going to generally lay off pitches out of the zone, and they’re impactful. I think they resemble our team a lot.”
Minnesota’s Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz hit solo homers in the first three innings off James Paxton. Sano added a solo drive in the sixth off Tommy Kahnle (1-0).
The Twins scored their other run on an RBI single by Polanco in the top of the fifth that tied the game at 3-3.
Paxton allowed three runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one before six relievers combined to allow one run on two hits in the final 4 1/3 innings.
Aroldis Chapman finished up with a scoreless ninth.
Minnesota’s Jose Berrios allowed three runs — one earned — on four hits in four innings. He fanned six and walked three.
Polanco homered two batters in, and Cruz connected with two outs in the third.
The Yankees took their first lead in the bottom of the third by capitalizing on Minnesota’s shaky defense.
LeMahieu and Judge singled, and Encarnacion drove in a run with a double. Giancarlo Stanton walked, and Torres appeared to hit an inning-ending double play. Cron dropped the throw from second baseman Luis Arraez, and the miscue allowed Judge and Encarnacion to score.
—Field Level Media