Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam leads Yankees to win over Blue Jays

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Defending Giancarlo Stanton’s 3-for-24, 13-strikeout start to the season, Aaron Boone insisted it was just part of the Yankees slugger’s streak.

“Once he gets it going, go ahead,” Boone said Friday.

The Yankees were all on board Sunday.

Stanton hit his second home run in as many days, a massive grand slam that gave the Yankees the lead and enough breathing space to hold on for an 8-3 win over the Blue Jays on a cool afternoon in The Bronx.

Giancarlo Stanton hits a grand slam during the Yankees’ victory over the Blue Jays on April 7, 2024. Bill Costron/New York Post

“Whenever he connects and hits like that, it gets everybody excited,” Anthony Volpe said. “If he goes, we all go.”

Volpe added three hits and two steals, drove in a pair of runs to keep the lead going late, and played strong defense at shortstop on a day when the Yankees had to string together the final 4 ²/₃ innings with a short bullpen.

It was a handoff from Jake Cousins ​​to Nick Birdie, Caleb Ferguson to Dennis Santana, who recorded the save with what Boone described as a “courageous” 1 ²/₃ innings.

Giancarlo Stanton (L.) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7. Bill Costron/New York Post
Luis Gil pitches during the Yankees’ victory over the Blue Jays on April 7. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

In the process, the Yankees improved to 8–2 – tied with the Pirates for the best mark in the majors – and earned their third series win in as many chances to start the season.

“It’s been awesome,” Volpe said of the Yankees’ first 10 games. “Everyone is picking each other up, whether it’s within the lineup or the bullpen picking us up or the starters picking up the bullpen. It’s a really good feeling to go out there every night, knowing you can beat the other team in a lot of different ways.”

After a three-hit effort Saturday night, which included a wall-scraping solo home run to the small porch, Stanton left no doubt Sunday.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning of a 1–1 game, Stanton threw a 93 mph fastball from Bowden Francis into the left field seats from a distance of 417 feet.

Anthony Volpe celebrates during the Yankees’ victory over the Blue Jays on April 7. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

As the bullet hit the bat at 110.6 mph, Stanton stared at it for a few seconds and then threw his bat before circling around the bases.

“It’s a big place and you know it from the beginning,” Stanton said. “Sometimes [if it lands in] In the first two rows, you have to do a little bit of scooting.”

Stanton attributed his success over the past two games to staying on his feet more, something he talked about wanting to do with a healthy lower half in spring training.

Doing so, he said, allows him to “stay in the middle of the ball” and not “come up to cut balls, roll around too much.”

In Stanton’s other three at-bats on Sunday, he struck out twice and grounded into a double play, so he knows there is still work to be done.

“Just keep batting well, over and over again, game after game,” Stanton said. “Put not just one or two but all four or five together and good things will happen.”

Before Stanton’s grand slam, the Yankees had produced a series of quality at-bats.

Osvaldo Cabrera started it off with a one-out walk, before Juan Soto singled and Aaron Judge walked to load the bases with two outs.

Anthony Rizzo forced in a run before Stanton went deep and drew a full-count walk to tie the game.

Juan Soto hit a single during the Yankees’ victory over the Blue Jays on April 7. Bill Costron/New York Post

“G has been aggressive all year,” Boone said. “Not getting results right now, some swings and misses happening. “Obviously the last few days have been good to get some results and today is a big blow.”

Luis Gil was tough to hit for the second consecutive start, though, as he struggled with command problems that limited his outings to 4 ¹/₃ innings.

Of the 13 outs recorded by Gill, eight came via strikeouts and while he gave up only two hits, he walked four times.

One of the runs given up by Gill came on a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk in which he appeared to be rattled by a pair of previous batted pitches that were called balls by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

“To be honest, I thought he was missing a little bit,” Boone said. “I felt like he took advantage of me a little bit emotionally. …good learning moment. He came inside. “Obviously we want him to go a little deeper, but he gave us one-run baseball in the fifth inning and got us set today.”

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