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Gleyber Torres and Mike Ford Power the Yankees Again

SEATTLE — Gleyber Torres is clearly the hottest Yankees hitter this month. Mike Ford isn’t far behind.

Torres hit his 13th home run for the month, Ford went deep twice and New York beat the Seattle Mariners, 5-4, on Monday night.

The Yankees added to their record-setting month of bashing home runs with one from their young All-Star and a pair from an undrafted player out of Princeton who is getting his chance at regular at-bats because of injuries. In his last 12 games, Ford is hitting .353 with five home runs.

“I’ve always been confident,” Ford said. “That’s not saying this league isn’t really hard. But I’ve always been confident in my ability to hit, and it’s what has gotten me to this point, so you can’t lose that edge.”

Torres launched his 33rd homer of the season on the first pitch of the second inning from Tommy Milone, who took over after Matt Wisler was used as an opener. It was the start of a four-run rally for the American League East leaders in which 10 batters came to the plate. Austin Romine had a run-scoring single and Ford added the big blow with a two-run shot down the right-field line.

ImageCreditLindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Ford, previously a Rule 5 pick by the Mariners and later returned to the Yankees, added a solo homer in the fourth, his eighth of the season. The three home runs boosted the Yankees’ total to 64 in August, a major league record for any month.

Ford also connected Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

“He’s really taking advantage of an opportunity now like so many of our guys have throughout the year,” Manager Aaron Boone said.

Milone (3-8) allowed eight hits and five runs in five innings.

New York’s starter, J.A. Happ, permitted just two hits, but a high pitch count ended his night after five innings. One of the hits was a three-run homer by Dylan Moore, his second long ball in two days. Happ (11-8) struck out seven and walked three.

Boone considered sending Happ back out for the sixth.

“I felt I could have gone out and given us a little bit more, but understood where we were at to go the way we did,” Happ said.

ImageCreditElaine Thompson/Associated Press

The sixth inning was briefly delayed as umpires questioned the delivery of Yankees reliever Cory Gearrin. Umpires said Gearrin’s toe-tap delivery was illegal. Gearrin, who pitched for Seattle until being claimed off waivers last week by the Yankees, had a similar issue earlier in the season with the Mariners. He was told after that game his delivery was legal.

Boone said the Yankees would seek clarity from Major League Baseball about what the right-hander can do going forward.

Mallex Smith hit a solo shot in the seventh off reliever Nestor Cortes Jr., his first homer since June 16. But the Yankees’ bullpen was otherwise solid. Tommy Kahnle worked a perfect eighth and Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 36th save.

“Their bullpen is really good. You know that coming into the series and you have to stay after it,” Seattle Manager Scott Servais said.

In a matchup of Japanese stars, Masahiro Tanaka will pitch on Tuesday night as Yusei Kikuchi returns to the rotation for the Mariners. Tanaka (9-7, 4.68 E.R.A.) has won two of his past three decisions, but lost his last start against Oakland. Kikuchi (5-8, 5.19) is coming off a two-hitter against Toronto on Aug. 18.


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