MINNEAPOLIS — Gleyber Torres got New York going with a second-inning home run, scored on each of his two doubles, and made a pair of sparkling defensive plays, fueling the Yankees to a 5-1 victory Monday night to finish yet another sweep of the Twins and advance to the AL Championship Series.

Didi Gregorius hit two RBI singles and Cameron Maybin homered for the Yankees, who stretched their postseason winning streak over the Twins to 13 games.

‘‘The way we played tonight was championship-caliber baseball,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said during the clubhouse celebration. ‘‘Just really proud of the effort, ’cause I know we wanted to finish this off and get back home.’’


Following a 103-win regular season and its first AL East title since 2012, New York will start the AL Championship Series on Saturday at home against Tampa Bay or at Houston.

‘‘We’re focused already to the second series,’’ Torres said.

Minnesota became the first 100-win team swept in the Division Series. The Twins are 2-16 against the Yankees in the playoffs since the 2004 ALDS opener. The Twins were outscored in the series, 23-7, batted just .218, and, after hitting a record 307 homers, had just four in the series, all solo shots.

Minnesota has lost 16 consecutive postseason games, matching the North American major sports record held by the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL from 1975-79.

‘‘Our guys should be walking out of that clubhouse with our heads held high, and they never stopped playing,’’ Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. ‘‘We got beat over the last three days, and there’s no way around that. That’s going to happen from time to time, but what an amazing season it was.’’

Fans of the Minnesota Twins weren’t happy after watching the first playoff game at Target Field end as a season-ending 5-1 loss to the Yankees.
Fans of the Minnesota Twins weren’t happy after watching the first playoff game at Target Field end as a season-ending 5-1 loss to the Yankees.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images/Getty Images

Yankees starter Luis Severino pitched out of trouble for four scoreless innings in just his fourth big league appearance after recovering from a spring training lat injury. Chad Green, the third of five relievers, got four outs for the win and Aroldis Chapman got the final five outs, freezing Nelson Cruz with a 99-mile-per-hour called third strike to end it.


Gregorius went 4 for 10 with six RBIs in the series. Dating to the 2017 wild-card game, he’s 23 for 50 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 14 games against the Twins.

‘‘All we did was to go out there and play our best baseball,’’ Gregorius said.

Eddie Rosario went 3 for 4 for the Twins with a homer to lead off the eighth off Zack Britton, who was limping a bit after covering first base on a grounder two batters earlier and left in the eighth with assistance from trainer Steve Donahue. Yankees relievers allowed three runs over 13⅓ innings, in the series.

On this idyllic fall evening that started at 62 degrees, the Twins trotted out Torii Hunter for the ceremonial first pitch to fellow retired fan favorite Joe Mauer, and the sellout crowd of 41,121 for the first postseason game at Target Field since the ballpark’s 2010 debut was buzzing.

The energy hardly ever deflated, even when the 22-year-old Torres became the fifth-youngest Yankees player to register a postseason homer when he took Twins starter Jake Odorizzi deep. The ball barely cleared the dark green wall in left-center.

Typifying this long-running lopsided matchup, almost all the could-go-either-way plays went to the Yankees, leaving the Twins largely shaking their heads at all their near-misses.


Rosario hit what he thought was a homer to start the bottom of the second, stopping to admire the trajectory for a second, but the ball bounced off the 23-foot right field wall for a double. The Twins loaded the bases with nobody out, but Severino escaped with a pop-up and a pair of strikeouts.

Gleyber Torres had plenty of reason to smile Monday after his double in the seventh inning.
Gleyber Torres had plenty of reason to smile Monday after his double in the seventh inning.Elsa/Getty Images/Getty Images

A few setbacks for the Twins were out of their hands. With runners at first and third, Mitch Garver took what appeared to be ball four on a 3-and-0 pitch by Severino, but plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called it a strike. Garver whiffed to end that inning, and the Twins left a total of nine runners on base while going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees were impeccable in the field. LeMahieu made a slick leaping catch of a sharp line drive by Marwin Gonzalez to end the fourth. Torres, employing an aggressive shift at second base that had him in shallow right field, scooped a sharp grounder by Rosario with two on in the fifth and managed to throw him out from his knees to end the inning.

Torres again came up big again in the seventh with a stop on a Jorge Polanco grounder and flip to Britton covering first.