Giancarlo Stanton, after going 2 for 25 over the Yankees’ previous six games and not hitting a ball out of the park for two weeks, slugged a two-run homer and went 2 for 4 on Saturday as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 8-5, for their fourth consecutive win.
Stanton had an infield single and drew a walk in addition to hitting his 12th home run, and he now has 31 runs batted in. When he led the major leagues with 59 homers and 132 R.B.I. last season with the Miami Marlins, much of his power production came later in the year.
On June 2, 2017, Stanton had 15 homers and a .291 batting average. His average after Saturday’s game was .248, and he had struck out 73 times.
Orioles starter Kevin Gausman struck out nine in five and a third innings, thanks mostly to a hard-diving splitter and a lively fastball. But Gausman left his first pitch to Stanton in the fourth inning up in the zone. Stanton quickly sent a bullet into the right-field seats to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
Stanton said he has been fighting the slump the way all professionals do.
“Working, working, working, getting it right,” Stanton said. “You keep going till you can’t. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve been doing, but anyone can throw a good game or two together. I need good weeks, good months. It’s a good way to start it.”
Manager Aaron Boone said he had seen progress recently even though Stanton did not find the desired results until this game. Things just came together on Saturday.
“I thought he looked really good, actually, for about a week or so now,” Boone said. “The results haven’t been there, but he looks like he’s struggling just to find that rhythm and timing up there. It’s good to see him get some results.”
Miguel Andujar, who had collided with Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros while trying to field a ball during a win on Wednesday, gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer off Gausman in the second. Andujar said he felt well enough to play after the collision, but Thursday’s game was postponed, and he did not play Friday. Andujar crushed a low splitter for his sixth homer this season.
The Orioles helped the Yankees with errors on three consecutive plays in the sixth that paved the way for two runs and a 6-2 lead.
“I feel like I made some quality pitches, but it’s the home runs,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I gave up three home runs. That’s kind of been the thing for me, and I feel like I need to do a better job with that.”
After Tanaka left, four relievers combined to hold the Orioles, who lost for the seventh straight game, to one run.
The game started 1 hour 44 minutes late because of a threat of inclement weather. A tarp was put on the field early, but even though the skies remained dark, the rain never really came, except for a light mist.
The forecast for Sunday also calls for rain, near the 1:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch, putting the Yankees at risk for their seventh postponement this year.