HOUSTON -- The pep talk took but a few seconds, but it carried lasting weight. As Giancarlo Stanton circulated through a jovial visiting clubhouse Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, another 0-for-4 under his belt, manager Aaron Boone stopped by to offer words of encouragement.
There will be plenty of nights when Stanton is the one carrying the lineup, Boone told his star slugger, generating a nod and the response: "I know." One day later, Stanton did just that, cracking a pair of line-drive homers and driving in all four runs of the Yankees' 4-0 victory over the Astros on Wednesday.
"It's always good to hear that," Stanton said. "It's been a long time coming. Just got to be patient and know it's a long season. There are going to be games like this and there are going to be games where you're on the other side of this. It's great to hear that from him, for sure."
Dallas Keuchel had not permitted a home run to a Yankees batter in 62 1/3 career innings (including the postseason), but Stanton got the left-hander twice in the first four frames, supporting the first shutout of Luis Severino's career.
Stanton lifted an opposite-field shot down the right-field line in the first inning for a two-run homer, then added a solo shot in the fourth that landed in the Crawford Boxes atop the left-field scoreboard. The home runs were Stanton's sixth and seventh for his new club.
"Amazing. He's a very good player," Severino said. "At the end of the season, he's going to hit 50 home runs. I don't care what anybody says. He's a great hitter and he's going to continue doing good stuff."
The first homer was projected to travel 339 feet, making it Stanton's shortest ever tracked by Statcast™. The second one was a more traditional barrel, leaving the bat at 108.5 mph with a launch angle of 19 degrees, and went a projected 384 feet.
"You've got to give credit to him," Keuchel said. "He obviously made some adjustments from the first two games, and a bunch of their big boys were selling out the other way early. [The first homer] was just a muscle home run. You've got to tip your cap."
Wednesday marked Stanton's second multihomer game with the Yankees, having also done it on Opening Day against the Blue Jays in Toronto. It was the 30th multihomer game of Stanton's career, making him the ninth player in Major League history to reach that milestone before turning 29.
In that select group, Stanton joined Alex Rodriguez (36), Eddie Mathews (36), Ken Griffey Jr. (36), Jimmie Foxx (36), Ralph Kiner (34), Mel Ott (33), Juan Gonzalez (33) and Andruw Jones (31).
"He's a great player," Boone said. "The good thing about our offense, it feels like it has been a different guy all the time. I know Giancarlo had a tough night [Tuesday] in a big win for us. ... He carried the offense tonight. That's for sure. A huge performance to back Sevy against Keuchel, who was very good in his own right tonight."
Stanton added an RBI double in the eighth off reliever Hector Rondon, turning around what had been a rough series. Stanton was hitless in his first eight at-bats at Minute Maid Park, striking out three times in each of the first two contests.
"There are breakout nights, but you've got to go back to the drawing board and get it going," Stanton said. "You need breakout weeks. One day ain't going to do it, but it put us in a good place. We're set up to win the series. We need to put it away tomorrow."