The iconic Target logo almost became a bull-eye for Giancarlo Stanton on Wednesday night.
The first of Stanton’s two home runs – and the second of the Yankees’ four long balls during a 9-6 win over the Twins – traveled 423 yards to immediate center field and landed somewhere near the hard to reach logo on. Target field. Stanton’s five RBIs were his first in exactly one month and ended a 12-game drought dating to May 9th.
“He’s a very dynamic player and a lot of that is in your face,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Stanton. “You see him step in the box as a very physical guy with the kind of strength that very few people in any professional sport have.”
Aaron Judge branded himself as the game’s second striker and Miguel Andujar met for the fifth time in eight games, but Stanton delivered the three-run explosion that the Yankees have become so addicted to. Referee doubled, leading out of the third, and Gleyber Torres went ahead of Stanton, who caught a flat 0-2 glider over the center of the plate and launched it against the luxury club seats over the grassy dough.
“He’s the kind of guy who does things in a hurry,” Baldelli said. “He is looking for a pitch to hit. He swings. He may look bad at a pitch or two and then immediately reverse the course of a game alone. That is why he is who he is. ”
Maybe the Yankees go as the striped Stanton goes?
Stanton was 2-for-5 with a pair of singles in the series opener on Tuesday. All three of his hits on Wednesday were out of Randy Dobnak, including his second home run, also at a 0-2 pitch, which just cleared the 23-foot-high wall in the center right field.
“They were wrong with two strikes,” Stanton said of his homemade pitches. “To stay through the ball and not roll those lanes over.”
The Yankees were 8-4 from April 23 to May 6, when Stanton hit .481 with a 1,413 OPS, six home runs and 11 RBIs over 52 at-bats. Stanton’s bats cooled in the ensuing days and he was put on the shelf from May 14 to 27 due to a square strain. When he returned, his power did not. Stanton came in on Thursday, hitting .138 with 12 strikes in 29 at-bats over the last nine games.
“My balance gets thrown off sometimes, even though I keep playing,” Stanton said. “Sometimes you come back and you feel good right away. Sometimes you have to stay in your legs and through the ball a little better. I just have to keep it up. ”
More frustrating for Yankees fans who counted on him over last week’s home flop is the slugger’s $ 325 million inability to play more than three days in a row despite working as the designated hitter. His return coincided with a 2-6 Yankees stretch.
“You plan a preliminary week and go day by day how it goes,” Stanton said. “When we get further away from me and don’t play for a few weeks, I can be out there anymore and not have to take days down.”
The Yankees are 6-3 when Stanton homers and counteres the popular conspiracy theory that too many of his homers are losing too late.
Before Wednesday, he had a home career in 15 games against the Twins – his fewest against any opponent other than the Marlins, his longtime team.