CHICAGO — As Giancarlo Stanton walked to the plate for his first at-bat with DJ Lemahieu on second, a fan was heard on the live broadcast: “Stanton, you’re overrated.”
The fan’s timing was a bit off.
While the Yankees’ star didn’t hear it, he ended up launching two home runs en route to a career-high six RBIs in a 15-7 win against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday night.
“It’s great,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve talked about winning in different ways and finding ways to win. Tonight was a little bit different. We gave up some runs and kept pouring it on. Just a great job on the offense.”
Stanton’s six RBIs and fellow slugger Aaron Judge’s four helped New York erupt for a season-high 15 runs to capture its 16th win in 18 games.
“They got a lot of professional hitters obviously,” White Sox starter Dylan Cease said. “They have a game plan. They put up a lot of good at-bats. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.”
Stanton’s first dinger came in the first inning when he blasted a 115.9 mph line-drive home run, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. It was Stanton’s 37th career home run with a 115+ mph exit velocity, according to Statcast.
Then he followed that up with a two-run home run in the third inning, giving the four-time All-Star the 35th multi-homer game of his career.
“A lot of really good at-bats off of [Cease],” Boone said. “Big G [Stanton] getting two big ones to get us rolling. He looked really locked in to me tonight.”
Stanton’s production at the plate is nothing new for the Yankees. The 32-year-old has come up big for New York all season. With his two home runs, he has seven go-ahead long balls to either tie or give his team the lead, the most in the MLB.
Additionally, the 2017 NL MVP achieved something he hasn’t pulled off since 2011: hitting two opposite-field home runs in the same game.
“Some pretty swings,” said Judge of Stanton’s homers. “The two homers were impressive. [That’s] what that guy’s capable of doing every single night. He’s a game-changer, he can take over a game just like he did tonight.”
It also happened to come against Cease, who came into this outing with a 2.38 ERA and had never allowed two homers to the same batter in the same game.
“It’s pretty cool, especially to help us win,” Stanton said on his career-high six RBIs. “It’s always better when we can do that [winning].”
After a slow start to the season, Stanton has picked it up. On April 23, he found himself in a slump, hitting .203 with 22 strikeouts in 15 games.
Then, a switch flipped and the slugger picked up his average. Over his last 14 games, Stanton is hitting .358 (19-for-53) with seven home runs and just 13 strikeouts. He’s hitting .277 on the season.
The slugger is firmly in a groove. After the two home runs, Stanton added to his stellar night in the eighth inning when he delivered a hard (116.7 mph) single on a changeup, bringing in two runs to highlight a seven-run inning for the Yankees.
“I think the change, low and away, off the plate to the right side was an even bigger swing,” Judge said.
The eighth-inning rally started with a two-out Marwin González walk. Then, one of the best at-bats of the night came from pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres. After going down 0-2, he worked a seven-pitch walk to keep the inning alive.
“Really big-time at-bat,” Boone said. “Ready and prepared and that’s no small thing. I loved his process.”
Torres eventually came around to score on Judge’s infield single.
“Awesome,” Boone said of Torres scoring from second on the single. “He’s doing a great job and again off the bench tonight. He’s shown that ability on the bases, he’s got that knack to take that extra base.”
“I gave it all I got,” said the 6-foot-7 Judge, who also hit a 456-foot home run earlier. “I hope my speed rating goes up.”