BALTIMORE -- Out of view from the cameras and microphones, Giancarlo Stanton has continued to grind behind the scenes, hoping to unlock the combination that will end his season-long struggles against right-handed pitching.The Yankees slugger was rewarded in the third inning on Saturday, mashing an opposite-field two-run homer to right-center
BALTIMORE -- Out of view from the cameras and microphones, Giancarlo Stanton has continued to grind behind the scenes, hoping to unlock the combination that will end his season-long struggles against right-handed pitching.
The Yankees slugger was rewarded in the third inning on Saturday, mashing an opposite-field two-run homer to right-center field off the Orioles' Kevin Gausman at Camden Yards. Stanton's 12th homer of the season gave the Yankees a three-run lead at the time, en route to an 8-5 victory.
"I had a good day, good at-bats," Stanton said. "I saw the ball well. It's good. We got a good team win."
Stanton's homer was his first since May 19 at Kansas City and just his fifth off a right-handed pitcher, against whom he entered Saturday's contest batting .193/.282/.320 with seven doubles and 13 RBIs.
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That has prompted numerous cage sessions over the past several weeks with hitting coaches Marcus Thames and P.J. Pilittere, who are tag-teaming to help Stanton regain the form that helped him secure the National League MVP Award last season.
"Not fun. Working, working, working," Stanton said. "Getting it right. But that's part of it. You keep going until you can't. That's what I'm going to do, and that's what I'm going to keep doing."
In large part due to the closed stance which boosted his power numbers in the second half last year, Stanton has thrived against lefties, hitting .375/.413/.839 with three doubles, a triple, seven homers and 16 RBIs.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said recently that he does not believe Stanton's closed stance has affected him against right-handed pitchers.
I thought he looked really good [Saturday], actually," Boone said. "For about a week or so now, obviously the results haven't been there, but it looked like he's struggling just to find that rhythm and timing up there. I thought even with the strikeout the first at-bat, I felt like it looked a little better and different.
"Obviously it's a big home run there, smokes another ball for a hit and works a walk. Good to see him get some good results."
Stanton hadn't had an extra-base hit in 10 games, doubling on May 20 in Kansas City, and he said that Saturday's homer offers encouragement that he is on the right track.
"Yeah, but anyone can put a good game or two together," Stanton said. "I need good weeks. Good months. But it's all right. You've got to stay positive and that's a good way to start it."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.