Rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres became the youngest Yankee to hit a walk-off home run with a three-run shot in Sunday's 7-4 win over the Cleveland Indians as New York won for the 15th time in its past 16 games.
After Cleveland's Dan Otero intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton with one out and first base open in the bottom of the ninth, Torres, at 21 years, 144 days, lined a 3-2 sinker that sailed over the right-center field fence for his second home run since he was promoted to the majors and the Yankees' sixth straight win.
"He definitely doesn't play like a 21-year-old, I'll tell you that," reliever Dellin Betances said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "What he did right there, putting that ball in the bullpen in that situation, I didn't know he had that kind of pop."
Torres has a .327/.357/.500 batting line with two home runs and 11 RBIs since his promotion, and the Yankees are 14-1 in games he's played in since making his debut. During Torres' five-game hitting streak, he is 7-for-18 with nine RBIs.
"He stepped into this role and he's kind of taken off with it," said first baseman Neil Walker, who tied the game with an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty, "and he's really impressive."
Manager Aaron Boone said he was impressed with Torres' composure, especially with him being the youngest Yankee to hit a walk-off home run, beating Mickey Mantle by 41 days.
"It seems like the bigger the spot, the bigger the situation, the better he is," Boone said, according to Kuty. "He doesn't even flinch in that moment. And the approach there -- back through the middle and the other way off Otero, who you know is going to run that sinker in on you. To have an extended at-bat like that -- that's just a big-boy, mature at-bat from a good hitter and he hammered that ball."
Many of Torres' teammates raved about his play so far. Catcher Gary Sanchez, who two years ago hit 20 home runs in his first 53 games and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, said he's known Torres' potential since last spring, and the rest of the league is just now seeing it come to life.
How did Torres describe the moment?
"Super awesome," he said.
Since the Yankees' streak began, they have gained seven games in the standings and now have the second-best record in the majors ... to the Boston Red Sox, whom they host for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.
"I feel we're proving we can win games in different ways," Boone said, according to Boland.
Torres' walk-off is just the latest.