The Yankees kicked off their 10th shutout of the season on Tuesday night — and this time the infield midfielder was a big part of it.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Gleyber Torres combined to make a handful of excellent defensive plays to make sure a pair of unearned runs scored by the Yankees held off in a 2-0 win over the Rays in the Bronx.
Yandy Diaz picked Gerrit Cole to open the sixth inning and Harold Ramirez hit a Cole fielded comebacker.
The throw from the right-hander to second sailed away from base. Torres had to rush to his right to catch, as there was a bit of confusion as to who was covering the base.
Torres appeared to run off base as he made the catch, but the Yankees challenged the play and Diaz was called.
Jose Trevino said he was “1000 per cent sure” Torres was off base and Cole also didn’t have much hope of the call being overturned, but when it was, the Yankees haven’t looked back.
The play was even more important when Cole then gave up consecutive hits.
The second hit, a field single from Ji-Man Choi, was blocked from entering the outfield by Kiner-Falefa, which helped prevent a run from scoring.
Cole made it count, forcing Randy Arozarena to bat in a late-inning double play, well-turned by Kiner-Falefa and Torres, and the Rays didn’t score.
Manager Aaron Boone praised Kiner-Falefa’s ability to make short-term clutch plays.
“That’s when I have the most fun,” Kiner-Falefa said. “I was a little shaky on some games, but I really felt like I made it.”
Kiner-Falefa also doubled in the second and delivered an RBI single in the fourth.
“He’s just a player, man,” Boone said. “He made a number of great plays and hit the big hit. He does a lot of things that help win games. “He always had that instinct and talent,” Boone said. “He’s just learning to control a certain aggressiveness. He’s fearless on the basics, which is a good thing, as long as it’s done smart. It was definitely worth rolling the dice on this game.”
Torres also contributed.
After flying to deep center to lead at the bottom of the second, Torres hit an error from right fielder Manuel Margot with one out and Giancarlo Stanton up front in the fourth.
Matt Carpenter punched in before Kiner-Falefa hit from the left.
As third base coach Luis Rojas waved Stanton home, Torres watched the play develop alertly and was able to run around third when Margot’s home throw went to the security net.
With Corey Kluber slow to get to the ball, Torres slid home safely for the Yankees’ second inning.
New York Post