Home News Willie Calhoun, Gleyber Torres homer as Yankees beat Red Sox

Willie Calhoun, Gleyber Torres homer as Yankees beat Red Sox

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NEW YORK — The Yankees’ formula for victories looks and feels a bit different without Aaron Judge in the lineup, challenging other contributors to step up while waiting for the American League’s reigning Most Valuable Player to return.

For just the second time since Judge landed on the injured list, the Yankees shook hands following a victory. Gleyber Torres and Willie Calhoun homered, helping to support Domingo Germán’s solid effort as the Yankees edged the Red Sox, 3-1, on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s going to take all of the guys in this clubhouse,” Calhoun said. “It’s a really good clubhouse; really good players, up and down. So it’s really just relying on each other, leaning on each other and picking each other up every single day. We’ve just got to keep that going.”

The Yankees are 3-3 since Judge sprained his right great toe while making a sensational catch exactly one week earlier at Dodger Stadium. With the offense having averaged just 3.2 runs over those six games, the Bombers’ new recipe must focus on pitching, defense and timely hitting — and they got all three on Saturday.

“We miss our captain, but at the same time, we’ve got to deal with the blows,” said Isiah Kiner-Falefa. “We have no excuses. It’s a tough division, and this division waits for no one. We’ve got to find ways to go out there and compete.”

When Germán reported to Spring Training, he did so as a likely fifth starter: The rotation seemed stacked, with Carlos Rodón, Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes all in line to follow ace Gerrit Cole. Injuries bumped Germán up the depth chart, and he has responded, allowing one earned run or fewer in seven of his past 11 starts.

Left fielder Jake Bauers helped Germán in the third inning, making a leaping catch at the left-field wall to rob an extra-base hit from Rafael Devers.

“Devers is a strong hitter, so with the impact and the direction that the ball was going, I thought it was going to be a homer,” Germán said through an interpreter. “Bauers was right there, and he made a great catch.”

Though Devers later homered, it would be the only blemish for Germán, who scattered six hits while striking out five with two walks, claiming his fourth win. Wandy Peralta retired Devers on a key groundout in the seventh, following a 14-pitch battle with Masataka Yoshida that ended with a walk.

“Especially against left-handers, he’s been so good this year,” manager Aaron Boone said of Peralta. “In a lot of ways, that’s the game right there. Wandy never gives in.”

Torres’ second homer in three games opened the scoring, a leadoff shot to right field off right-hander Tanner Houck in the fourth inning. Calhoun then got just enough of a shot to right in the sixth, a well-placed drive that reached the front row and would not have been a homer in any other big league park, according to Statcast.

But while Calhoun’s fifth homer was a Yankee Stadium unicorn, his clutch bat appears to be no fluke. Over Calhoun’s past 13 games, he’s batting .310 (13-for-42) with five doubles, two homers and eight RBIs, and three of his five homers this year have tied the game or given the Bombers a lead.

“At this time last year, I was in Triple-A,” said Calhoun, who played in the Rangers’ and Giants’ systems in 2022. “I’ve just put that in my rearview mirror. This year has been unreal so far. Just being able to help the team win in any way possible is a good feeling.”

During Judge’s first injured list stint of the year in May, a 10-game stretch where the Yankees won four times, they aimed to adopt a small-ball strategy while keeping the light on for the captain. There was a hint of that reprise in the seventh inning, as Kiner-Falefa dashed home from second base with an insurance run, batted in by a Kyle Higashioka single.

Yep, there’s resilience there — though arguably not as much grit as what broadcaster John Sterling showed in the ninth inning, continuing his play-by-play on the WFAN radio broadcast after being clipped above the left eyebrow by a Justin Turner foul ball. Sterling insisted he would be OK as he departed the Bronx, and come to think of it, so did the Yankees.

“We talked about it, starting in Spring Training: It’s going to take everyone,” Boone said. “It’s going to take more than you even think. You need to be ready for that.”

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