On this Sunday afternoon, youth was served.
In a heaping helping from the sort of Yankees lineup that hadn’t been seen in nearly 50 years.
Sending out a starting lineup with an average age of 26 years, 46 days, the Yankees coasted past the Blue Jays, 5-1, in front of 43,628 at the Stadium.
“We’ve worked really hard — long before I got here — at building this organization from the ground up,” Aaron Boone said after his club improved to 11-9. “Feel like we’re in position not only to be a really good team in the short term but in the long term, and I think that’s a result of that.”
The average age of the starting lineup Sunday was the Yankees’ youngest since Sept. 26, 1970, according to STATS Inc.
The last time they had a starting lineup entirely under 30 within the first 20 games of the season was May 9, 1943, against Philadelphia, according to baseball researcher Katie Sharp.
Top prospect Gleyber Torres, 21, was the headliner as he made his big-league debut, starting at second base. He had a quiet day at the plate, going 0-for-4, but looked comfortable in the field, starting a 4-6-3 double play to end the sixth.
Luis Severino, 24, was terrific, allowing one run and three hits in seven innings. He is 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA.
“Just what the doctor ordered from our ace,” Boone said.
Miguel Andujar, 23, continued a torrid week at the plate, going 4-for-4, including two doubles. That made it six straight games with an extra-base hit for the third baseman, who is 13-for-24 with seven doubles, two homers, a triple and seven RBIs in that stretch.
The elder member of the starting group, 29-year-old catcher Austin Romine, contributed a two-out, two-run double in the second that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
Romine, a second-round pick of the Yankees in 2007 at the age of 18, laughed upon getting a pregame text from a friend kidding him about being the elder statesman of Sunday’s lineup.
“It creeps up on you,” Romine said with a smile. “It just speaks volumes about our team. We’ve got a lot of youth and our [player development is] doing a great job with them all and you’re seeing it come to fruition now.”
In the first inning, Didi Gregorius, who at 28 has emerged as one the best shortstops in the game, hit his sixth homer to tie Aaron Judge for the team high and give Severino a 1-0 lead.
Severino wasted no time in providing a shutdown inning, setting down three straight — two on strikeouts — and needing only 12 pitches to do it, giving him 24 to that point.
Gary Sanchez led off the bottom of the second with a walk and Andujar doubled with one out. Torres, to a loud standing ovation, made his major-league debut at the plate and struck out swinging on a 1-and-2 slider by former Yankee Jaime Garcia (2-1).
Romine, however, came through with a two-out hit, lining a 3-and-1 fastball the other way into the rightfield corner for a two-run double.
Kevin Pillar led off the third with a single and Devon Travis walked, but Severino got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to fly to left, retired Curtis Granderson on a half-swing comebacker and got Teoscar Hernandez on a soft grounder to third.
Severino’s biggest mistake was a full-count slider that Teoscar Hernandez drove into the Blue Jays’ bullpen in the sixth to make it 3-1.
Sanchez doubled with one out and scored on Andujar’s long double to left-center in the sixth to make it 4-1. Gregorius added a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Yankees captured their third victory in the four-game series.
“We’ve gotten on a little roll here,” Romine said. “We’re going to try and keep it going.”
The Yankees’ starting lineup was composed of nothing but 20-somethings Sunday afternoon.
Aaron Hicks CF 28
Aaron Judge RF 25
Didi Gregorius SS 28
Giancarlo Stanton LF 28
Gary Sanchez C 25
Tyler Austin 1B 26
Miguel Andujar 3B 23
Gleyber Torres 2B 21
Austin Romine C 29
Luis Severino P 24
The Last Time . . .
n The Yankees’ lineup consisted entirely of players under 30 was Sept. 29, 1989, vs. Detroit.
n The Yankees had a starting lineup entirely under 30 within the first 20 games of the season was May 9, 1943, vs. Philadelphia.
n The Yankees had a starting lineup entirely under 30 in the month of April was April 26, 1942, at Boston.