Stanton's HR so huge it brings rain, ends game

Slugger belts 31st as Yanks top Jays in shortened affair

August 18th, 2018

NEW YORK -- brought the figurative thunder at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. Then actual rain followed.

Showers began pouring down a batter after Stanton's 435-foot blast in the seventh inning, halting play that would never resume. After waiting 85 minutes for the weather to subside, the Yankees were awarded a rain-shorted 7-5 win over the Blue Jays.

"We got a heads-up from the umpires right before it was coming that it was going to get real windy and nasty," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "It finally started to blow in, you could see it coming, obviously. The original thought was the delay would be about an hour and a half, but there was some uncertainty there, so we just didn't really know."

Once the decision to end the game was made, the Yankees had completed an impressive comeback win, snapped a two-game losing streak and regained their footing in the American League Wild Card race. New York maintained its three-game lead on Oakland for the top spot, with the A's walking off against the Astros in 10 innings on Friday night.

Down, 4-0, after a rough top of the first from , the Yankees cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits from Didi Gregorius and . Lynn then settled down long enough for to put New York ahead, 5-4, with a three-run homer off in the fourth.

Lynn bent again in the fifth, allowing a game-tying RBI single to , but ' RBI forceout in the bottom of the inning put the Yankees on top for good, thanks to scoreless relief from and .

"Not an ideal start, but to fight back and get this win was really huge for us," said Stanton. "A good test for us. Get punched, and punch right back."

The Yankees' offense has sputtered at times this month without injured sluggers and , particularly with runners in scoring position. That's what made Andujar's double in the first and Walker's homer in the fourth such welcomed sights -- together, those hits exceeded the team's combined total with runners in scoring position from the last two games.

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Those struggles, though, have largely eluded Stanton, who continues to rake in Judge's absence. In 21 games since Judge went on the disabled list, Stanton is hitting .289/.351/.663 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs.

"I'm having much better at-bats overall, and being on time and having a good approach," Stanton said. "That's all I can do."

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Though the Yankees outlasted it, the five-run, four-plus-inning outing marked Lynn's least effective in pinstripes. He'd allowed just one run over his first three appearances (two starts) since being acquired from the Twins.

"That first was ugly, and I have to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Lynn. "The offense came back and bailed me out. I knew that was a possibility."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Walker goes wild: Though it was Walker who put the Yankees ahead for the first time, the seeds for his three-run, fourth-inning shot were planted a batter before, when Greg Bird taxed Stroman to the tune of a 10-pitch walk. Bird fought back from a 1-2 hole, fouling off six pitches before two impressive takes rewarded him with first base, putting runners on first and second for Walker. Stroman wasn't sharp afterward, laying an 0-1 cutter center-cut to Walker, who deposited it into the right-field seats for his seventh home run of the year. Four of those have come this month.

"I thought our at-bats all night, up and down, were really strong. We made Stroman work really hard," Boone said. "Stroman came in throwing the ball well, and we made it difficult on him with our up-and-down at-bat quality. It was good to see us throw a big number up there."

SOUND SMART

The Yankees have long loved seeing Stroman toe the rubber in the Bronx, where they've feasted on the righty over the course of his career. The five tallies New York scored off the righty gave it 31 runs (29 earned) across 41 innings in Stroman's nine career starts at Yankee Stadium. That translates into a 6.37 ERA for the Long Island native.

HE SAID IT

"You're going to ask him about his popup to right?" -- Lynn, joking to reporters as he motioned to Stanton in the clubhouse

UP NEXT

It will be a busy Saturday at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will honor the 20th anniversary of their 1998 World Series championship before this series continues with a 1:05 p.m. ET tilt with the Blue Jays. The ceremony is the main event of a weekend-long celebration of the historic squad. After the proceedings, (15-6, 3.27 ERA) will try to become the AL's first 16-game winner. Toronto will counter with rookie right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (0-1, 5.40), making his second career start.