Stanton to bat third, DH in Yankees' opener

Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez

USA TODAY Sports Images

Stanton wrote himself all over Boone's first game as Yankees manager with a pair of home runs and a double, becoming the seventh Yankees hitter with a multi-homer opening day, and the first since Joe Pepitone in 1963. Since then, the Yankees and their fans have anticipated a devastating one-two punch with Stanton and Aaron Judge, and it got off an electric start. "It was a great day".

Now, over the next six (or seven) months, we'll get to see if anyone can stop them. I had school chums who rode the NY bandwagon and didn't get off until the mid-60s when the tires on the Yankees' Bandwagon went flat. That the Yankees past year - sans Stanton - produced the majors' most homers and second-most runs.

The bright lights of Broadway shine on stars in the making every night, but Stanton will be bringing his own brand of showmanship to a different borough of the Big Apple after cutting his teeth with the Miami Marlins, a team that never finished with a winning record during Stanton's time there. "But if anyone's equipped to handle all that goes with being a superstar player with the New York Yankees, I think Aaron is more than capable of that". Judge, who struck out 208 times past year, struck out swinging, bringing Stanton, the designated hitter, to the plate as a buzz grew in the stadium. In spring training, Cora insisted players call him "Alex" or "A.C." but it will be interesting to see how a more relaxed clubhouse responds to a losing streak or the unpredictable funk of Price and Ramirez. For a guy with his talent, his power, once he gets on time, he's deadly.

The Blue Jays retired the number of late pitcher Roy Halladay in a pregame tribute, and added his name to their Level of Excellence. But if Blue Jays fans want to console themselves with something as they ponder the Yankees with envy and disgust, they should at least know they have plenty of company. Matt Harvey and Steven Matz are reliable starters in the middle-to-bottom part of this year's rotation, and both "The Dark Knight" and the Long Island native have shown us that they are capable of great things. "You've still got to prove yourself. When they get on time, they're usually taking pitches out of the zone because they can wait a little longer".

Gibbons said 3B Josh Donaldson is dealing with deadness in his throwing arm. "I felt like his at-bat quality the last week of spring training was really starting to tighten up", said Boone.

Happ (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) over 4 2/3 innings.

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. The miserable offensive showing matched the weather conditions in Toronto, where rain drizzled outside the domed Rogers Centre all day.

The club also said starter Joe Biagini will open the season in Triple-A Buffalo to keep him stretched out along with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, who was Toronto's most risky hitter in spring training.

He is 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 13 outings, including three starts, in his career against the Yankees.

The reality is that the opener Thursday might have been the biggest regular-season game Stanton had ever played - and he rose to meet the moment.

Latest News