NEW YORK -- The Yankees' wait for the authentic Giancarlo Stanton -- the one who terrorized pitchers in 2017 -- may finally be over. It may have been a slow start for the defending National League MVP since his trade to New York from Miami, but with four hits and
NEW YORK -- The Yankees' wait for the authentic Giancarlo Stanton -- the one who terrorized pitchers in 2017 -- may finally be over. It may have been a slow start for the defending National League MVP since his trade to New York from Miami, but with four hits and three RBIs on Sunday vs. the A's, the slugger appears to be on a much-awaited tear.
Stanton had a two-run single in the first inning and solo homer into the home bullpen in right-center in the fifth to lead the Yankees to a 6-2 victory over Oakland before 40,538 at Yankee Stadium after rain delayed the Mother's Day contest for two hours and 45 minutes. The Yanks have now won 19 of 22, have captured seven straight series and are tied with Boston at 28-12 for baseball's best record one-quarter of the way through the season.
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Stanton's 4-for-4 performance -- he was a triple short of the cycle -- raised his batting average 20 points to .252. Over his last six games, he is 9-for-23 with three home runs and seven RBIs and stands one hit shy of the 1,000th of his career.
"He was the difference today," manager Aaron Boone said. "A lot of quality at-bats by him. Just very happy with the work he's put in -- the hard work behind the scenes, the grind you see day in and day out from him -- and when it gets rewarded I love that."
"Much later than I wanted it to, but I've been working hard trying to feel comfortable every day," Stanton said of the quest for consistency. "You're not going to produce every day, but at least have good at-bats."
Stanton's offense provided all that ace Luis Severino would need to collect his American League-best sixth victory. Severino (6-1, 2.14 ERA) crafted a solid six innings of one-run ball and finished the 106-pitch outing with seven strikeouts against just two walks. Chad Green threw a scoreless seventh and Dellin Betances a scoreless eighth before Chasen Shreve allowed a Mark Canha solo homer in the ninth.
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"I didn't have my slider. My fastball command wasn't where it usually is," Severino said. "I grinded to get through six innings."
Stanton came to bat against Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson in the first with none out and the bases loaded after a Brett Gardner single, an Aaron Judge double and a Didi Gregorius walk. He laced a single to center for a 2-0 lead. Aaron Hicks singled him in two batters later for a 3-0 lead.
Stanton was up with two outs in the fifth and cranked a 2-1 pitch from Anderson for the homer and a 4-1 lead. According to Statcast™, it came off the bat at 108 mph and traveled 403 feet. He had a double during the seventh when Hicks scored Judge with a fielder's choice for a 5-1 lead. Judge drove in another New York insurance run with a two-out single in the eighth.
Boone was asked if Stanton may finally be hitting one of those stretches where his bat can carry a team. Boone didn't go that far, but he did say, "One thing I'll predict: In the end it will be massive production."
After the Yankees needed 11 innings to beat Oakland on Saturday, they were looking for Severino to pitch deep into the game. It looked like he might be able to give them seven innings when he finished the fifth at 89 pitches, but A's first baseman Matt Olson opened the sixth with a 10-pitch at-bat to keep the right-hander to just six innings.
"Olson, he took a great at-bat. I threw a lot of pitches," Severino said. "Maybe if it was less, I'd have gone to the seventh.
Severino has allowed seven earned runs over 41 innings in his past six starts -- a 1.54 ERA.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Key D from Andujar: Oakland had two on and two out in the fourth inning when Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar jumped to snag Canha's liner toward left field. The drive would surely have scored at least one run but kept the New York lead at 3-0.
"That was a really big play," Severino said. "If that gets to left field, that's going to be runs."
Judge has 11 home runs and Stanton, Gregorius and Gary Sanchez each have 10. It's the first time in franchise history that four Yankees have hit double-digit homers in the first 40 games. It's also the first time a team has achieved this feat since the 2003 Rangers (Juan Gonzalez -- 13, Carl Everett -- 13, Alex Rodriguez -- 11, Rafael Palmeiro -- 10).
HE SAID IT
"I'm really excited where we're at. But it's a long, long way to go. I feel we've had our share of adversity and handled it really well. From a record standpoint we're in a really good position, but you always temper it with it's a quarter of the season. It sounds like a good measuring stick, but it also tells you there's a lot more games to play."
-- Boone, on the team's MLB-best 28-12 record at the season's quarter pole
Giancarlo Stanton visits one of his favorite parks to hit in as the Yankees open a two-game series in Washington at Nationals Park on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Stanton has a .287/.366/.651 slash line playing in the District of Columbia. In 55 career games at Nationals Park, he has 20 home runs. Righty Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66 ERA) is matched against Washington southpaw Giovany Gonzalez.
Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.