It was the eighth home run of the season for Torres as the Yankees scored four runs overall in the top of the first. Parker Phillips provided a two-run blast for Elizabethton in the bottom frame, but the Twins weren’t able to overcome the early deficit.
The Yankees (35-16) maintained their 4 ½-game lead over Burlington in the Appalachian League East Division standings. The Twins (26-25) blew a chance to tie Johnson City atop the West Division standings.
Pulaski added to their lead with three runs in the fifth inning. Madison Santos came through with an RBI single, followed by back-to-back sacrifice flies by Jose Martinez and Anthony Cabello.
Charles Mack had a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth, but the Twins were unable to muster any more runs.
Roberto Chirinos went 4-for-5, including a double and a triple, and Torres finished 2-for-4 with a double, a three-run homer and two runs scored as the Rays outhit the Twins by a 10-5 margin.
Mack was 2-for-4 for the Twins as starter Ben Gross (3-2) suffered the loss after giving up six runs over four innings.
Jackson Bertsch (2-0) came in relief of Yankees’ starter Randy Vasquez in the fifth inning and got the win. Tyler Johnson threw the final two innings for his third save of the season.
Game 2 of the three-game series is set for Monday at 6:30 p.m.