With one swing — and the stare and bat flip that followed — Giancarlo Stanton breathed one big sigh of relief into Yankee Stadium. The Yankees slugger had been booed as early as Opening Day and
With one swing — and the stare and bat flip that followed — Giancarlo Stanton breathed one big sigh of relief into Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees slugger had been booed as early as Opening Day and again in the first inning Monday as he remained hitless for an offense that was also off to a slow start. But by the fifth inning, he quieted those concerns as quickly as his 471-foot moonshot reached the terrace in left-center field.
Stanton turned boos into roars from the crowd of 9,008 when he crushed a grand slam to break open the game and send the Yankees to a 7-0 win over the Orioles on Monday night.
Jordan Montgomery was sharp, tossing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts, mowing down an Orioles lineup that was coming off a sweep of the Red Sox in Boston. The Yankees’ pitching staff had been solid through the first three games, but had only one win to show for it because of a lack of run support.
The big bats finally began to break out, though, with Stanton leading the charge and Aaron Judge adding his first home run of the season — after Gary Sanchez had been responsible for the Yankees’ only two long balls through the first three games.
Stanton’s blast came with two outs in the fifth inning, snapping his 0-for-10 start. Aaron Hicks, who was in his own 1-for-14 rut to begin the season, had just drawn a bases-loaded walk to make it a 2-0 Yankees lead. Stanton then got a 92-mph fastball down the middle from Shawn Armstrong and turned on it, leaving no doubt with a 115.1 mph missile that he stared down as it flew into the stands for the 6-0 lead.
After starting the season 4-for-24 with runners in scoring position, the Yankees went 3-for-5 Monday, including an RBI single from DJ LeMahieu to pad the lead to 7-0 in the sixth inning.
Manager Aaron Boone had said he didn’t want the Yankees to chase hits because of the cold start and they seemed to oblige, staying patient and drawing seven walks.
It turned out that Judge’s solo home run in the fourth, which reached the short porch in right field for a 1-0 lead, would have been enough for Montgomery. The left-hander was dominant and efficient in his first start of the year, needing just 73 pitches to breeze through six innings. Only one batter reached third base, with two outs in the fifth, but Montgomery calmly stranded him there.
Luis Cessa followed with two shutout innings and Aroldis Chapman, making his debut after serving a two-game suspension, struck out the side in the ninth.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce