Stanton homers twice in debut, Yankees beat Blue Jays 6-1
TORONTO (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton made the expected impression in his New York Yankees debut — and more.
Stanton began his Yankees career with the hardest-hit, opposite-field home run since Major League Baseball began tracking exit velocity in 2015, doubled and hit a second homer into the center-field party deck in the ninth. Stanton’s four RBIs led the Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 Thursday and gave Aaron Boone in a win in his first game as a professional manager.
Luis Severino (1-0) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Yankees, who won their opener for the first time since 2011.
Stanton led the major leagues with 59 home runs last year and won the NL MVP, then was acquired from Derek Jeter’s payroll-paring Miami Marlins to join AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge on the resurgent Bronx Bombers, who fell one win shy of reaching the World Series last year.
Stanton took a strike from J.A. Happ (0-1) in the first inning, then hit a 426-foot, two-run drive to right measured at 117.3 mph. Stanton added an RBI double in the fifth and hit a 434-foot home run in the ninth off Tyler Clippard.
Brett Gardner a leadoff home run off Danny Barnes in the seventh. Judge singled, doubled and walked for New York, which opened the season with a road win for the first time since 2006 at Oakland.
Boone had been a television analyst since retiring as a player after the 2009 season. New York fired Joe Girardi after the Game 7 loss to Houston in the AL Championship Series, deciding it needed a new approach.
Severino (1-0) got a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild after issuing consecutive walks in the first, but escaped the jam by striking out Kendrys Morales.
Happ allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Toronto’s Kevin Pillar homered on Dellin Betances’ first pitch in the eighth. Betances and Aroldis Chapman retired the final six batters in order.
Yankees: 1B Greg Bird (right ankle) and OF Jacoby Ellsbury (strained right oblique) were placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to March 26. ... OF Clint Frazier was placed on the seven-day concussion DL, retroactive to March 26. ... INF/OF Tyler Austin was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (right heel) was placed on the 60-day DL, guaranteeing he will miss at least 30 games for a seventh consecutive season. The move is retroactive to March 28. Tulowitzki sustained a season-ending ankle injury last July 28 and was not able to participate in Toronto’s exhibition schedule. ... OF Anthony Alford (right hamstring) and OF Dalton Pompey (right wrist) were placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to March 26.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka is 9-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 15 starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez had an AL-best 3.00 ERA in 2016 but made just eight starts last season because of persistent blister issues. He’s 2-2 with a a 2.40 ERA in 13 career games against New York, including three starts.
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