NEW YORK – Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were back at the top of the Yankees order on Sunday, an imposing 1-2 combination from the start.

Hitting just behind them at No. 3, Gleyber Torres homered twice at Yankee Stadium as the home side took another big lead and never looked back.

Essentially, the Yankees did exactly what they needed to do this weekend to restore calm and distance in this sudden AL East run.

Sunday’s 10-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays followed Saturday’s 10-3 Yankees win, giving Aaron Boone’s club a 5.5-game lead with 21 games remaining.

New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres reacts after hitting a three-run homer in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, September 11, 2022 in New York City.

The Yankees’ roster is still missing a lot of pieces, and they needed eight pitchers to put together Sunday’s win over the No. 2 Rays.

“We have to pull ourselves together and play our best,” Boone said. “That’s what we’re looking for and looking for.”

The gradual rise of Gleyber Torres

By next Sunday, maybe Boone will have Anthony Rizzo (back, headaches) back in his lineup.

The Yankees need to operate as if Matt Carpenter (fractured foot) and Andrew Benintendi (fractured hamate) aren’t coming back, but better versions of Torres and Stanton would help tremendously.

Going into Sunday’s game, Torres was batting .189 with a .530 OPS, five homers and 13 RBIs since the All-Star break.

During the first half, Torres’ stats were nearly All-Star-worthy: .809 OPS, 14 homers, 41 RBIs in 81 games.

So it was a heartwarming sight around the Yankees universe to see Torres call up Judge’s first-inning single and Stanton’s walk with a right-hand homer, giving an instant 3-0 lead.

Torres beat one of the Yanks’ three homers in a seven-run second inning, building a 10-1 lead and taking some pressure — as Torres noted — on a lineup that was frozen by throwing the Rays last weekend.

In St. Petersburg, Fla., the Yankees somehow won one game in a three-game series where they scored three total runs — including two home runs by Judge, who has 55 this season.

Keeping Aaron Judge in the Park

The Rays (78-60) managed to keep Judge in the stadium over the weekend, but the Yankees (85-56) still outscored them 20-7 after losing Game 1 of the series 4-2 on Friday .

“I liked the fight in the first game,” Boone said of his club’s approach. “And that carried into the next day, two very good games for us.”

Stanton had been on a 3-for-38 streak and was lately nursing left foot pain before Saturday, when he went 2-for-5 — including an eighth-inning homer against a position player.

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On Sunday, Stanton followed up a Judge sack volley with a three-run homer to the right. Torres made back-to-back outbursts, further destroying Luis Patino’s day (1.1 IP, 9 ER), after a rain-delayed start of nearly two hours.

And when Oswaldo Cabrera drove one into the stands on the right pitch, it was no longer just a sense of relief at the stadium.

It was a party.

After retrieving the baseball he hit on his first MLB home run, Cabrera said it would go to the family of his brother’s wife, who was instrumental in his career.

Yankees favorable schedule

After the Rays tied in two games in the loss column on Friday night, a sensational climb from the Yanks’ stately 15.5-game lead, the schedule now favors Boone’s club.

As the Yankees head to a day off before a two-game set in last-place Boston, the Rays start a five-game set Monday in third-place Toronto (78-61).

The Rays and Blue Jays have nine head-to-head games left, and the Rays have six games against the Houston Astros, looking to seal the AL’s best record.

Meanwhile, the Yanks took a page from the Rays’ own playbook, using Domingo German on three days off as their opener, followed by a parade of relievers.

Twenty-one years after the day of the 9/11 attacks, the German sprinted for his warm-ups while waving an American flag, in a sign of support and remembrance.

German was nine years old when he saw fellow Dominican Sammy Sosa charging to his outfield position at Wrigley Field, waving the flag in 2001.

Through an interpreter, German said it was his way of “showing support for the country, the people and the victims” of that tragic day.