Yankees get a trio of home runs from star DH, crush the Pirates in 12-0 win

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees would welcome Aaron Judge back into the lineup against the Pittsburgh Pirates for a nighttime contest at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Despite the return of the captain, it would be fellow right-handed power hitter Giancarlo Stanton who would steal the show, putting on an incredible performance where he collected three home runs in his first three trips to the plate. He guided a dominant Yankee offense that put up 12 runs on the night, with eight of those RBIs coming off the bat for the 2017 NL MVP.

In a game that showed the Yankees that there could still be some life in Giancarlo Stanton’s bat, they would bludgeon the Pirates in a lopsided 12-0 win.

Giancarlo Stanton Powers Yankees’ Offense to A Win

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Mar 16, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is congratulated by catcher Ben Rorvedt (38) after hitting a two-run home run at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Weaver would take the mound of the Yankees, and he’d fire in a scoreless first inning that would set the tone for his night, throwing 3.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to just one walk allowed. His four-seamer averaged about 19 inches of Induced Vertical Break, getting the Pirates to generate mostly harmless contact and some swings and misses when the situation called for it. While not considered a frontrunner for the fifth starter job, he’s still in that conversation, and if he doesn’t win it he’ll remain in the Yankees’ bullpen as a long-reliever.

If the Yankees wanted positive signs from Weaver, they certainly got them, but he got plenty of run support to help the cause. Facing off against Marco Gonzalez, the Yankees jumped on him as Aaron Judge opened the scoring with an RBI double to right center field. Giancarlo Stanton would hit one of three home runs he’d collect on the night, launching a ball over the batter’s eye in centerfield for a two-run blast and making it a 3-0 game in a hurry. Anthony Volpe, who has also had a nice Spring Training, smacked a ball to right field for his first homer.

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MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Mar 20, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) slides safe at home plate as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ali Sanchez (14) attempts to tag him out as he scores a run during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The run-scoring would continue in the second inning, as with the bases loaded Giancarlo Stanton would once again step to the plate, and he delivered another blast. This time a moonshot to left field, he would power a grand slam to make it 8-0, and the Yankees were in cruise mode early. As if he were playing a video game, the slugger would come back to the plate in the fourth inning, and he’d terrorize Gonzalez again with a third blast. It was an unbelievable performance that brought his OPS to 1.073, cutting his strikeout rate down significantly in his exhibition games thus far.

Giancarlo Stanton would tack on another RBI as he missed hitting his fourth home run of the game after hitting a sharp flyball to centerfield for a sacrifice fly. An Anthony Rizzo RBI double and wild pitch would give the Yankees their 11th and 12th runs of the inning, and they’d finally end the beatdown from that point forward. Following Luke Weaver, the bullpen would come in and fire 5.2 innings of scoreless work with 10 strikeouts, as Clay Holmes, Ian Hamilton, Caleb Ferguson, Nick Burdi, and Clayton Andrews allowed just one hit and one walk combined.

In his return to the lineup, Aaron Judge had an RBI double and walk, and Nick Burdi was the most impressive reliever of the night as he struck out three batters and collected six whiffs in just nine swings. The Yankees will pick things back up tomorrow afternoon against the Atlanta Braves on the road as Nestor Cortes takes the bump against Charlie Morton at 1:05 PM EST.

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