Giancarlo Stanton became the first player to homer against Boston in six straight games, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the sixth inning that gave the Yankees a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday.
Anthony Rizzo homered for the second straight day to start the Yankees’ comeback from an early deficit, a tying two-run drive in the fourth.
Luis Severino made his first start for the Yankees since the 2019 American League Championship Series as the Yankees improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2018.
Stanton broke a 2-2 tie when he drove an 0-1 slider from Nick Pivetta (0-1) into the first row of the left field bleachers, a 437-foot drive over Boston’s bullpen.
Stanton and Rizzo became the first players in Yankees history to homer together in both of a season’s first two games. They also became the ninth set of teammates since 1900 to each hit homers in both of a season’s first two games, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
“Good to see the big boys doing some damage,” Manager Aaron Boone said.
Stanton’s streak of six straight games with home runs against the Red Sox includes a drive in last year’s A.L. wild-card game, a 6-2 Yankees loss.
“We’re talking about just a great hitter, a great power hitter,” Boone said. “Dating back now, he was in a pretty locked in place and when G gets locked in, that’s what happens.”
“Just fortunate to get some balls over the plate and be on time and get the barrel to it,” Stanton said. “I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything. I’m doing my homework and I’m getting the ball over the plate.”
Three players had homered in five games in a row against Boston: Mickey Mantle (1954), Ken Griffey Jr. (1996-97) and Jim Thome (1997).
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After opening as a designated hitter Friday, Stanton played right field. Stanton hit nine of 35 homers last year in 16 games as an outfielder.
“I can’t tell you why I hit them when I’m playing outfield or D.H.,” Stanton said. “It’s just a different rhythm to the game. I got to be able to master both of them because I’m going to do both.”
Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer in a 31-pitch second inning off Severino, who returned late last season from Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old All-Star right-hander, a 19-game winner in 2018. allowed five hits in three-plus innings, struck out five and walked none. He threw 65 pitches, including 35 four-seam fastballs that averaged 97.8 miles per hour.
“It’s been a long time, but I remember very well how it feels.” Severino said. “I was just trying to feel relaxed.”
Six relievers followed Severino with a hitless inning each.
Alonso’s Grand Slam Powers Mets to 3-0 Record
WASHINGTON — Pete Alonso twirled his bat when his first career grand slam broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning, then put his index fingers to his mouth as if hushing the crowd after celebrating with teammates near the plate, propelling the Mets to a 5-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Chris Bassitt cruised through six innings in his Mets debut, and New York won its third straight to open Buck Showalter’s tenure as manager. The Mets have outscored Washington by 17-4 and will go for a series sweep Sunday.
About 48 hours removed from getting his lower lip bloodied by a pitch — part of a string of Mets who have been plunked during the season’s first three games, leading to a benches-clearing interruption Friday — Alonso sent a 91-mile-per-hour fastball from Joan Adon (0-1) over the fence in left on a 2-1 count.
The Mets loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks against Adon, whose first big league appearance came on the last day of the 2021 regular season. That brought up Alonso, who hit 53 homers in 2019 as the N.L. Rookie of the Year, and a group of Mets fans near the visiting dugout sang a chorus of his full name.
He took a ball off the face in the ninth inning on opening day, after teammate James McCann had been hit twice earlier. Then Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor got beaned in Game 2, precipitating an on-field confrontation between both clubs and two ejections. A fifth hit-by-pitch came in the third inning Saturday, when Starling Marte was struck by Adon’s looping curveball — but this time, Showalter remained in his dugout, glaring with arms crossed.
A day after former Nationals starter Max Scherzer won his first start for New York, Bassitt — also an All-Star right-hander — did the same.
Bassitt (1-0), who arrived from the Oakland Athletics in a trade last month, gave up only three singles — just one of which left the infield — in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
The rebuilding Nationals drew a crowd of 21,369.
Syndergaard Wins Battle of Returning Aces
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Noah Syndergaard and Justin Verlander spent most of the past two years working toward Saturday night, when their journeys back from Tommy John surgery coincidentally converged at Angel Stadium.
Although Syndergaard emerged slightly happier than Verlander, both veteran right-handers appear to be firmly on the right track.
Syndergaard pitched two-hit ball into the sixth inning in a strong Angels debut, narrowly outdueling Verlander in the Angels’ 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros.
Mike Trout and Jared Walsh homered in their team’s first victory of the season. Los Angeles held defending American League champion Astros to two hits, with Raisel Iglesias’s save capping 3 ⅔ hitless innings from the bullpen.
Syndergaard (1-0) and Verlander (0-1) both performed impressively, with Walsh’s solo shot on Verlander’s first pitch of the second inning eventually standing up as the difference.
Syndergaard yielded two weak singles and two walks over 5 ⅓ innings. While the imposing right-hander known as Thor had just one strikeout, he induced 11 groundouts from the Astros’ powerful lineup.
Verlander pitched five innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits and three walks while escaping several spots of trouble. He struck out seven, including fanning the defending A.L. M.V.P. Shohei Ohtani thrice.
“It’s a long road, man,” Verlander said. “Lots of nervousness and anxiousness leading up to it. Felt like my debut. Got some things to work on, but coming out of it feeling pretty good.”