Giancarlo Stanton’s monster grand slam powers Yankees’ win over Blue Jays

In defending Giancarlo Stanton’s 3-for-24, 13-strikeout start to the season, Aaron Boone insisted it was just part of the Yankees slugger’s streakiness.

“Once he gets it going, hop on,” Boone said Friday.

The Yankees were all aboard on Sunday.

Stanton crushed his second home run in as many days, this one a mammoth grand slam that gave the Yankees a lead and enough breathing room to pull out an 8-3 win over the Blue Jays on a chilly afternoon in The Bronx.

Giancarlo Stanton hits a grand slam during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7, 2024. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“Anytime he connects and hits one like that, it juices everyone up,” Anthony Volpe said. “If he goes, we all go.”

Volpe added three hits and two steals, scored a pair of runs that padded the lead late and played strong defense at shortstop on a day when the Yankees had to piece together the final 4 ²/₃ innings with a short bullpen.

It was a handoff from Jake Cousins to Nick Burdi to Caleb Ferguson to Dennis Santana, who recorded the save with what Boone described as a “gutsy” 1 ²/₃ innings.

Giancarlo Stanton (L.) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7. Bill Kostroun/New York Post
Luis Gil pitches during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7. Robert Sabo for NY Post

In the process, the Yankees improved to 8-2 — tied with the Pirates for the best mark in the majors — and secured their third series victory in as many chances to start the season.

“It’s super well-rounded,” Volpe said of the Yankees’ first 10 games. “Everyone’s picking each other up, whether it’s within the lineup or bullpen picking us up or starters picking up the bullpen. It’s a really good feeling going out there every night knowing there’s a lot of different ways you can beat the other team.”

Following up on a three-hit effort Saturday night, which included a wall-scraping solo home run to the short porch, Stanton left no doubt on Sunday.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning of a 1-1 game, Stanton clobbered an inside 93 mph fastball from Bowden Francis 417 feet into the left-field seats.

Anthony Volpe celebrates during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7. Robert Sabo for NY Post

As the bullet exploded off the bat at 110.6 mph, Stanton stared it down for a few seconds and then tossed his bat before rounding the bases.

“It’s a big spot and you know it off the bat,” Stanton said. “Sometimes [if it lands in] the first couple rows, you gotta get scooting a little bit.”

Stanton credited his success over the last two games to staying in his legs more, something he talked about wanting to do in spring training with a healthy lower half.

Doing so allows him to “stay down through the ball,” he said, instead of “coming up chopping balls, rolling over a lot.”

In Stanton’s other three at-bats Sunday, he struck out twice and grounded into a double play, so he knows there is still work to be done.

“Just got to, over and over again, game after game, continue to have good at-bats,” Stanton said. “Put all four or five of them together, not just one or two and good things will happen.”

Leading up to Stanton’s grand slam, the Yankees had put together a string of quality at-bats.

Oswaldo Cabrera got it started with a one-out walk before Juan Soto singled and Aaron Judge walked to load the bases with two outs.

Anthony Rizzo followed by working a full-count walk to force a run in and tie the game before Stanton went deep.

Juan Soto hits a single during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on April 7. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“G’s been in the at-bats all year,” Boone said. “Just not getting the results yet, having some swing and miss in there. Obviously the last couple days, good to get some results and big-time blow today.”

Luis Gil was tough to hit for a second straight start, though he battled command issues that limited his outing to 4 ¹/₃ innings.

Eight of the 13 outs Gil recorded came via the strikeout and while he gave up just two hits, he walked four.

One of the runs Gil allowed came on a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk in which he appeared to be flustered by a pair of pitches from the previous at-bat that were called balls by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

“Honestly, I thought he was missing a little bit,” Boone said. “I felt like that got the best of him a little bit out there emotionally. … Good learning moment. He settled in. Obviously we want him to get a little bit deeper, but gave us one-run baseball into the fifth inning and set us up today.”

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