It took 119 at-bats, but Gleyber Torres finally has his first home run of the season.
The Yankees shortstop got the monkey off his back Sunday, in his 32nd game, when he drilled a solo shot off Nationals starter Joe Ross on the way to a 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium.
“Finally, I get one,” Torres said. “I feel like I hit it at a really good time for the team today, and also one for my mom. So happy for that.”
Torres’ Mother’s Day blast came a day after he hit the game-tying and game-winning singles in the Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Nationals. It was the first time he had played on Mother’s Day as a big leaguer, though he also hit a pair of homers on the holiday for his mom, Ibelise Castro, in the minor leagues.
“I feel like I have really good luck on Mother’s Day,” Torres said. “Before I leave the house, I tell her, ‘I’ll do something great for you.’ I’m just coming to the ballpark with that mentality. When I do that, some good things happen.”
It was a longtime coming for Torres, who hit just three home runs in 42 games last season after crushing 38 in 144 games in 2019.
Entering Sunday, Torres’ 133 plate appearances without a home run were tied for the third-most in the major leagues — trailing only David Fletcher (147) and Adam Frazier (142).
“That’s awesome,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “You know how bad he wanted it, too. You could tell in his reaction. It’s good he got that first one out of the way and now they should flow.”
Torres’ last regular-season home run before Sunday came last Sept. 17 — with a career-long homerless stretch of 39 games in between. He had gotten off to a rough start this season, batting 11-for-59 through his first 16 games before turning it around to go 18-for-61 over his last 16 games.
“I think it’s more of an exhale, a little bit of a relief to get that [first home run] out of the way,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Gleyber’s confident, even when he’s struggling. The reality is he has been getting a lot of big hits for us and holding his own, he just hasn’t really clicked hitting for power yet. And that’ll come. But it was really good to see him get a really good swing off, a no-doubter to left where he’s behind the ball, gets his A-swing in.
“Hopefully just onward and upward now.”