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Gleyber Torres fuels Yankees’ 7-0 shutout over Astros in ALCS Game 1

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Game 1 of the American League Championship Series tipped in the Yankees’ favor as they shut out the Astros for a final score of 7-0 on Saturday. The win was driven in large part by Masahiro Tanaka, who ended his night with six innings of one-hit ball, as well as Gleyber Torres, whose highlight reel included a home run and five RBI over the course of five at-bats.

Despite some fine pitching from Houston starter Zack Greinke — three runs, zero walks, and six strikeouts over six innings — the Yankees didn’t give the Astros many opportunities to rest. After three scoreless innings, Torres put the Yankees on the board with a fourth-inning RBI double, and returned in the sixth with a 343-foot home run that was quickly followed by another 406-footer from Giancarlo Stanton.

In the seventh, Torres tacked on another pair of runs with a two-RBI single to center field, then advanced to second base on a throwing error from George Springer. During the bottom half of the inning, it looked as though the Astros were finally ready to mount a rally, but a would-be RBI single from Alex Bregman reverted to an inning-ending double play after the replay revealed he was out at first base.

Not content to simply carry a five-run lead across the finish line, the Yankees returned in the ninth for another two runs against Houston reliever Bryan Abreu. Gio Urshela led off with a first-pitch home run, which was followed by a productive groundout from — who else? — Torres.

The Astros’ loss marked their first such defeat at Minute Maid Park this postseason (and their first loss at home since September 21). They’ll get the chance to rectify things during Sunday’s pitcher’s duel, when they’ll send lefty James Paxton up against the Yankees’ Justin Verlander for Game 2 of the ALCS at 8:08 PM EDT.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.