NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton gave his new fans something to cheer about early in the Yankees' 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night, snapping a 50 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run drive to right field off starter Marco Estrada.Stanton's third-inning blast marked his first time clearing
NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton gave his new fans something to cheer about early in the Yankees' 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night, snapping a 50 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run drive to right field off starter Marco Estrada.
Stanton's third-inning blast marked his first time clearing the fences since April 4 vs. Tampa Bay, coming one game after manager Aaron Boone relocated the reigning National League MVP Award winner to the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Stanton's homer gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead at the time.
"We're all here for the same goal," Stanton said. "For me to help contribute, even though we didn't get the win, it's good."
The slugger has heard boos in the Bronx to open his pinstriped career, entering play on Friday with four hits in 38 home at-bats (.105). Stanton finished the evening 1-for-4, and Boone said that he has seen Stanton working deeper counts of late.
"Pitch recognition, controlling the zone, I thought he did more of that tonight," Boone said. "He just missed one his first time up as well. Hopefully he's gaining a little bit of traction, starting to come around a little bit. Obviously that's huge for us. It's nice to see him having a couple of days of quality at-bats."
According to Statcast™, Stanton's homer had an exit velocity of 110 mph and traveled a projected 377 feet. When he took his position for the top of the fourth inning, Stanton received a standing ovation from the fans in right field.
The 50 at-bat homerless streak was the ninth longest of Stanton's career. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Stanton's longest was 93 at-bats, spanning 27 games with the Marlins from Sept. 20, 2011, to April 28, 2012. He had a 55 at-bat streak from May 9-24 last season, en route to pacing the Majors with 59 homers.
"It kind of builds up and you try to simplify things," Stanton said. "You block out all the noise as much as possible and remember this is a kid's game. Remember how you were back when you were a kid, go out there and prepare. Let what happened happen."
It was the third two-run homer of the game, with Christopher Austin and Toronto's Teoscar Hernandez also slugging deep drives. Austin's new favorite pitcher appears to be Estrada, who has now served up all three of the Yankees' first baseman's home runs this season.
Austin struck against the right-hander in the second inning, lifting an opposite-field fly ball to right field that carried over Curtis Granderson's head into the seats.
On March 31 at Rogers Centre, Austin homered twice off Estrada in the Yankees' 5-3 loss. Austin now has 10 big league homers, with Estrada the only pitcher that he has taken deep more than once. Nine of Austin's homers have either tied the game or given the Yankees a lead.
Austin is continuing to play while his five-game suspension is appealed. Austin and Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly were disciplined for their involvement in a benches-clearing incident on April 11 at Fenway Park.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.