Facing Little Resistance, the Yankees Make Health Their Main Goal

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“I felt fine today, so I was happy with that,” Betances said. “This is the first time being hurt in the big leagues. It’s been frustrating, but the fun part is about to start, so I’ll be back for that.”

Both pitchers are expected to be at full strength by the end of the month. Boone is hopeful they will return to action in September, when the Yankees will be in the final stages of fine-tuning their playoff roster.

They’re just as optimistic about Voit, who has been out for two weeks with a sports hernia. He ran sprints early on Monday and reported that he felt “pretty much back to normal.” He will hit on Tuesday for the first time since being injured and could begin rehab games in Class AA within two weeks.

Despite the long list of injured players, the Yankees have continued to flatten weaker opponents. Monday’s wipeout of the Orioles was no exception, as the games devolved into glorified batting practice for the Yankees. The show featured not only Torres’s blasts, but also a 461-foot monster by Gio Urshela off Gabriel Ynoa in the first game. The ball left the park so quickly that Urshela sheepishly admitted that even he was surprised.

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“I didn’t know I had that,” Urshela said. In the clubhouse, several teammates, including Severino, teased Urshela about his in-game impression of the club’s strongmen, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

“He said now I have the power,” Urshela said with a laugh, repeating Severino’s words.

But even that feat was eclipsed by Torres, whose solo home run in the first game was joined by three-run shots in the fifth and sixth innings of the nightcap. The soft-spoken middle infielder has slugged 13 home runs against Baltimore this year, the most by any player against a single opponent in one season since divisional play began in 1969.

The Orioles were so unnerved by Torres’s power they intentionally walked him to load the bases in the eighth inning. Torres smiled and said he was “a little” surprised he commanded so much respect from the opposing dugout.



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