Giancarlo Stanton powers Yankees to another win over Astros
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The Yankee Stadium crowd wasn’t quite as large, loud or angry as it was Tuesday night, but the results were just as good, as the Yankees won their fifth straight game by beating the Astros, 6-3.
The struggling Aaron Hicks provided the key hit in the bottom of the eighth, with his RBI single giving the Yankees the lead before Aroldis Chapman closed it.
Giancarlo Stanton had powered the offense to that point, knocking in the first three runs with a two-run homer in the third and an RBI double in the fifth then adding an insurance run later in the eighth with a single. He now has an 11-game hitting streak — during which he is batting .500 with five homers and 10 RBIs.
It sent the announced crowd of 9,895 home happy after they spent the better part of the night yelling at the Astros — and Jose Altuve in particular.
The chants weren’t as boisterous or as constant as they were on Tuesday in the first game of the series, but they were hardly mild.
And for a second straight night, the Yankees went ahead later in the game, this time in the eighth.
Gleyber Torres started the eighth-inning rally with a leadoff single against left-hander Brooks Raley.
Clint Frazier, pinch hitting for Mike Ford, fell behind 0-2 before working a walk. Frazier was replaced at first by Tyler Wade. Hicks, batting from his more effective right side, served a single into right to score Torres and put the Yankees ahead.
Raley was replaced by Joe Smith, who hit Gary Sanchez. Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly provided an insurance run. And Stanton’s single drove in another run.
The Yankees got a solid start from Jordan Montgomery.
Altuve hit a sharp single through the left side of the infield on the first pitch of the game against the left-hander, who’s had first-inning issues this season.
But Montgomery got Michael Brantley to hit into a double play and Alex Bregman to fly out to retire the side in order on eight pitches.
Montgomery got out of trouble in the third. He allowed singles to Aledmys Diaz and Myles Straw to open the inning, but after Jason Castro failed to get down a sacrifice bunt, he hit into Houston’s second double play of the game. With Diaz at third, Altuve hit a slow roller to third, where Gio Urshela charged and made a strong throw to first to end the inning.
DJ LeMahieu was hit with a pitch up and in by Houston starter Luis Garcia with two out in the third. The 91 mph fastball ended up hitting his left arm.
Stanton made Garcia pay, hitting his eighth homer of the season. It landed in the left-field bleachers to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Brantley singled to right to lead off the fourth and Bregman blooped a single to center. Yordan Alvarez followed with a liner back to Montgomery, but the lefty couldn’t glove it and it went for a hit to load the bases with no one out.
Correa came up and grounded into an RBI force out to make it 2-1.
Yuli Gurriel’s double to left drove in Bregman, but Correa was thrown out at the plate thanks to Urshela’s strong throw home after getting the ball from Gardner to keep the game tied.
But Diaz hit a double to left of his own and Gurriel scored for a 3-2 Astros’ lead.
The Yankees had just one hit against Garcia until Gardner’s hard grounder got by Altuve at second and into right field with two out in the fifth. LeMahieu walked to force Garcia out of the game and Ryne Stanek came in to face the red-hot Stanton.
After a 1-2 pitch that should have been a called third strike for the final out was ruled a ball, Stanton ripped a run-scoring double to left to even the score at 3-3. Judge fanned for the third time of the game to end the inning.
Montgomery retired the final seven batters he faced after Diaz’s double before giving way to Luis Cessa.
Urshela led off the bottom of the inning with an infield single, and with two outs Hicks belted a double to the right-field corner. After initially waving Urshela home, third base coach Phil Nevin put up a late stop sign — an unusual move for the typically aggressive Nevin, but Correa was in position to throw to the plate.
Sanchez walked to load the bases for Gardner, who popped out to end the threat.
In the seventh, Cessa got the first two outs before walking Straw. Newly acquired lefty Wandy Peralta came on and struck out Jason Castro.
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