Sizzling Stanton homers as Yanks take series

July 4th, 2018

NEW YORK -- The beginning of 's career as a Yankee was often filled with more boos than cheers as the former Marlin made his transition to the Bronx, but as the slugger's bat continues to get hotter, he's beginning to flip the script.
With the offense boosted by Stanton's three-run homer in the third inning, blasts from and helped lift the Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Braves on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Stanton sent an 0-2 fastball from right-hander , who permitted five runs on five hits through five innings, a projected 410 feet, according to Statcast™, into the right-field bleachers for the slugger's 21st long ball of the season.
"You watch him take batting practice and his approach is to try to go [to right field]," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "And then obviously in this building, it's a good approach to have, especially as a right-handed hitter when you have power [and] you can stay on it the other way. With guys like Aaron and Giancarlo, they don't have to get it all to ride it out the other way. So that approach is a wise one, especially when you have power like him."

Since June 23, Stanton is hitting .378 with seven runs, four doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs in his last 11 games.
"The main focus was just getting a better feel and letting the ball get deeper and putting the barrel on it," Stanton said. "I definitely feel a difference and just more comfortable in there overall. Just got to keep it going."
In the fourth, Higashioka launched his third career home run and became the second Yankee in franchise history to have his first three Major League hits go for homers.

"I couldn't have imagined it like that," Higashioka said of the feat. "But I'm just glad that they're contributing to wins. That's the name of the game here, so I'm just happy that that's the case."
Judge squeaked one out just over the right-field fence for his 24th of the year in the seventh to cap the scoring.

The Yankees gave an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on a Greg Bird RBI single to right field. The left-hander had another strong start, keeping the Braves off the board for the first four innings before an RBI groundout by Danny Santana in the fifth and a homer, which snapped Sabathia's four-start homerless stretch, in the sixth gave Atlanta its two runs of the afternoon.
"Another really good outing from him," Boone said. "Got tired there a little bit at the end. I think kind of emptying the tank there in that sixth inning. They put some good at-bats on him to get him out of there. But on a hot day, he just went out there and was in control pretty much like we've seen him all year. His pitch mix just is really, really impressive."

Sabathia picked up his seventh quality start of the year, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings with five strikeouts. After Sabathia made his exit, the Yankees' bullpen took care of the rest, collectively permitting just four hits. and extended their scoreless streaks to 15 1/3 and 16 2/3 innings, respectively.

The Yankees placed  on the 10-day disabled list after an MRI Wednesday showed a right hip strain. Boone noticed Torres trying to stretch during his at-bat in the fourth inning and pulled him. More >

Sabathia's win marked the 243rd of his career, tying him with Juan Marichal for 53rd on the all-time wins list.
"He's always been the same, and that's the thing. That's something that I noticed right away. He's been the same guy the whole time, ups and downs, so that's a good sign." -- Sabathia, on Stanton's approach at the plate with and without fans' support
After an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees will travel to Toronto to open a three-game series against the Blue Jays at 7:07 p.m. ET on Friday. (5-6, 5.44 ERA) will get the ball and looks to avoid his third consecutive loss. The righty is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, allowing six runs on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings against the Red Sox on Saturday. In 11 career starts against the Blue Jays, Gray is 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA. Right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.97 ERA) will take the mound for Toronto.