With Giancarlo Stanton pulling out of the gate slowly, Aaron Boone has preached patience, all the while predicting big things.
“He’s going to have that stretch and I think it will be a good stretch, where it’s a month of him carrying us, or whatever it may be,” Boone said late Sunday morning.
It is too small a sample size to say that time has arrived, but this much was true Sunday afternoon: Stanton carried the offense in a 6-2 victory over the A’s at the Stadium, going 4-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.
“He was,” Boone said, “the difference today.”
Stanton is 13-for-38 with five homers, four doubles, six walks and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.
And regardless of the mild hysteria accompanying his start, there’s this: At the end of action May 13 a year ago, a season in which Stanton had 59 home runs and 132 RBIs and was named the National League’s MVP, he was hitting .259 with an .876 OPS, 11 homers and 26 RBIs. Currently, in one-quarter of a season, he’s hitting .252 with an .855 OPS, 10 homers and 26 RBIs.
“A good day for me, a good day for Sevy, as always,” Stanton said.
Even on a day without his best stuff, Luis Severino (6-1) found a way. Lacking the darting slider and pristine fastball command he exhibited in his previous two starts, in which he struck out 21 and allowed two runs in 15 innings, he allowed one run, five hits and two walks in six innings.
Severino, who struck out seven, lowered his ERA to 2.14 and improved to 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last six starts.
In Severino’s complete-game victory over the Astros two starts earlier, Stanton homered twice. He also homered twice in Severino’s first start of the season, March 29 at Toronto.
“I told him in here between innings, ‘We work well together,’ ” Stanton said with a smile.
“I told him, ‘I have to pitch every two days,’ ” he said. “Every time I pitch, he hits a homer . . . Like I’ve said [before], by the end of the year, he’s going to be at 50-something homers.”
The Yankees, who at 28-12 are tied with Boston for the best record in the major leagues, won their seventh straight series in completing a 7-2 homestand. They have won 19 of their last 22 games and will begin a three-city, eight-game road trip Tuesday night against the Nationals, who have won 13 of their last 15.
Severino didn’t take the mound until 3.50 p.m., as the game was delayed 2 hours, 45 minutes because of rain.
The Yankees essentially put it away in the bottom of the first against lefty Brett Anderson, who came in 0-5 with a 6.81 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees.
Brett Gardner (2-for-5) reached on an infield hit and Aaron Judge — who raised his average to .311 and OPS to 1.041 while going 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI — lined a double down the rightfield line.
Didi Gregorius, who snapped a 0-for-30 skid Saturday, walked to load the bases and Stanton rocketed a ground ball up the middle — 117 mph off the bat — for a two-run single. Gary Sanchez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Aaron Hicks picked him up by whistling a full-count pitch past Anderson’s head for an RBI single and a 3-0 lead.
Stanton homered into the Yankees’ bullpen in the fifth for a 4-1 lead, tying Gregorius and Sanchez with his 10th home run and moving within one of Judge. With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Hicks grounded into a forceout to make it 5-1, and Judge added a two-out RBI single in the eighth.
“That’s what’s going to make us terrible for other pitchers,” Stanton said of the lineup’s overall capabilities. “If the top of the lineup’s not going to do it one day, then the bottom will. And maybe [some days] a little bit of both, maybe everybody. It’s what we need.”
Giancarlo Stanton’s 4-for-4 afternoon with a home run and three RBIs continued a strong stretch. A look at his last 11 games:
5 Home runs