Gleyber Torres
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The Yankees set a new single-season home run record

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After tying the all-time record for single-season home runs with their 264th homer on Friday night, the Yankees returned to break that record on Saturday. While most of their heavy hitters — Home Run Derby champions Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge included — were held out of the lineup for Saturday’s game, they found plenty of power in rookie slugger Gleyber Torres, who mashed his 24th homer of the year on a 385-footer off of the Red Sox’ Eduardo Rodriguez.

The record-breaking blast arrived in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs and Greg Bird on third, Torres worked a 1-1 count against Rodriguez, then unleashed a long drive over the right field fence to give the Yankees a 4-1 advantage:

Torres was also instrumental in helping the Yankees tie the previous single-season home run record, though it was Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit, and Aaron Judge who drove in the remaining four home runs on Friday night to bring the club to an even 264 on the year. According to ESPN’s Coley Harvey, the team has now registered at least 20 homers from each spot in the batting order — and, more importantly, they’ve outpaced the 1997 Mariners, who had gone undefeated for 21 years after putting up 264 home runs prior to their run at the ALDS.

Of course, there are still 13 innings left to play this year, so if the rest of the series goes the way of Friday’s game, the Yankees may set the bar even higher by the time the regular season concludes on Sunday.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.