Mariano Rivera doesn’t need the all-time saves record to tell us that he’s the greatest relief pitcher of all-time, but he’ll soon be sitting on top of the mountain.
Rivera earned his 601st save this afternoon in a 7-6 win over the Blue Jays, tying him with Trevor Hoffman for the all-time saves record. The 41-year-old right-hander retired the side in order, throwing just 15 pitches and striking out one. In other words, not much different than what we’ve seen over the past 16 years.
The Yankees actually trailed early on after Bartolo Colon gave up six runs over four innings, but they fought back thanks to a three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the top of the sixth and a go-ahead two-run blast by Curtis Granderson in the seventh. Granderson went 3-for-3 with three runs scored on the afternoon. He now has 40 home runs on the season, trailing only Jose Bautista, and ranks first in the American League with 113 RBI and 131 runs scored.
Yankees rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres has a fun streak going right now: He’s homered in four straight games, becoming the youngest American League player to do so.
The historic knock arrived in the seventh inning of Friday’s series opener against the Angels. With two outs and the bases empty, Torres pounced on a 1-3 fastball from Jim Johnson and posted it to the right field bleachers for a go-ahead run:
It was just the Yankees’ second run of the night (the first having also been provided by Torres on an RBI single in the second inning), but the only one they needed to maintain an edge over the Angels.
Torres, 21, is off to a torrid start this season. Following Saturday’s 2-1 win, he now carries a .333/.393/.646 batting line, nine home runs and a 1.038 OPS through 106 plate appearances. In the past four games alone, he’s gone 7-for-15 with five homers (including a pair of solo shots, a two-run homer and three-run homer) and nine RBI. He’ll have to collect a home run in his next five games if he wants to set a new all-time record, however: Dale Long (1956 Pirates), Don Mattingly (1987 Yankees), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993 Mariners) currently share the record for the longest home run-hitting streak, at eight games apiece.