MINNEAPOLIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gleyber Torres got New York going with a second-inning home run, scored on each of his two doubles and made a pair of sparkling defensive plays, fueling the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday night to finish yet another sweep of the Twins and advance to the AL Championship Series.
Didi Gregorius hit two RBI singles for the Yankees and Cameron Maybin homered for the Yankees, who stretched their postseason winning streak over the Twins to 13 straight games. Minnesota has lost 16 consecutive postseason games, matching the North American major sports record held by the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL from 1975-79.
Following a 103-win regular season and its first AL title since 2012, New York, starts the AL Championship Series on Saturday, at home against Tampa Bay or at Houston.
Manager Aaron Boone called his team's play -- on both offense and defense -- a "championship-caliber" performance early Tuesday morning.
AL Central champion Minnesota became the first 100-win team swept in the Division Series. The Twins are 2-16 against the Yankees in the playoffs since the 2004 ALDS opener. Outscored 23-7 in the series, they batted just .218 and after hitting a record 307 homers had just four in the Division Series, all solo shots.
The 22-year-old Torres quickly deflated the sold out crowd, becoming the fifth-youngest Yankees player to register a postseason homer in when he took Twins starter Jake Odorizzi deep. The ball barely cleared the dark green wall in left-center.
Torres became the youngest Yankee in history to collect three extra-base hits in the same playoff game, notching that homer and two key doubles later in the game.
Yankees starter Luis Severino pitched out of trouble for four scoreless innings in just his fourth big league appearance after recovering from a spring training lat injury. Severino's finest moment came in the second inning, fighting out of a bases loaded, no-out jam by getting a pop up and two strikeouts to escape without surrendering a run.
Chad Green, the third of five relievers, got four outs for the win.
Gregorius went 4-for-10 with six RBIs in the series. Dating to the 2017 Wild Card game, he's 23-for-50 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in just 14 games against the Twins, who became the first 100-win team in history to be swept in a division series.
Typifying this long-running lopsided matchup, almost all the could-go-either-way plays went to the Yankees, leaving the Twins largely shaking their heads at all their near misses.
Sure enough, with two outs, after Miguel Sanó had just shifted to his left, Brett Gardner chopped a single into the vacated space past the burly third baseman's outstretched glove for a 2-0 lead. D.J. LeMahieu, batting immediately after Urshela, grounded out with a ball that would've been primed for a double play.
The Yankees were impeccable in the field. LeMahieu made a slick leaping catch of a sharp line drive by Marwin Gonzalez to end the fourth. Torres, employing an aggressive shift at second base that had him in shallow right field, scooped a sharp grounder by Rosario with two on in the fifth and managed to throw him out from his knees to end the inning. Torres again came up big again in the seventh with a stop on a Jorge Polanco grounder and flip to Britton covering first.
Lanky right fielder Aaron Judge made a jumping catch on the warning track of a smash by Sanó after a double by Luis Arraez in the sixth. Gregorius made a diving snag of fellow shortstop Polanco's drive for the second out of the ninth, with two runners on, flashing a big smile after throwing the ball around the horn.
Severino, who didn't make his 2019 debut until Sept. 17, threw a first-pitch ball to 11 of the 17 batters he faced, including all six in the second inning. He finished four scoreless innings, though, a far better output than his wild card game start against the Twins in 2017 when he fell behind 3-0 and was yanked after one out.
BY THE NUMBERS
Britton faced 67 left-handed batters in the regular season without allowing a home run.
According to MLB's Statcast data, Rosario's double in the second was the third-highest extra-base hit in baseball in 2019, a pitch 4.22 feet above the ground. The Twins ranked just 26th in the majors with a .217 batting average with the bases loaded during the regular season. Sanó went 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts in the series. Odorizzi took the loss. The Twins went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position with 11 men left on base in the game, finishing 3-for-28 in the series with 25 runners stranded.
Yankees: With their optimal lineup finally available after an onslaught of injuries all season long, manager Aaron Boone used an identical batting order for the third straight time. The only other time this year he did so in three straight games was from Sept. 6-8.
"I do like the work and the flow we have right now. Obviously, it's a little more healthier group than we've been," Boone said. "So kind of have that luxury of rolling them out in some similar spots."
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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