When the Yankees left New York for an eight-game road trip last week, Giancarlo Stanton was batting .158 and mired in a 3-for-32 slump.
They returned to The Bronx on Friday night with Stanton as their hottest hitter — and his bat stayed red-hot.
Stanton continued to smoke the ball, tallying a third straight three-hit game for the first time in his career as the Yankees thrashed the Tigers 10-0 at Yankee Stadium.
“I’m on time for the fastball,” said Stanton, the owner of an eight-game hitting streak. “I was swinging through a lot of those in the zone [before], which then makes everything else — you’re picking everything else up a little later and just in between. When you can square up the heater and adjust to the rest, that’s when I’m at my best.”
In seven games against the Indians and Orioles on the Yankees’ road trip, Stanton found his groove, batting 13-for-31 with three home runs. By the end of Friday night, his batting average had risen to .269 as he made himself at home in his new spot in the lineup hitting second.
“It seems like he’s hitting two and three balls breaking Statcast every night with some of the balls he’s hitting,” manager Aaron Boone said. “So I just think he’s in a good place in his season, in his process and his game plan. I think he has a lot of conviction right now when he’s walking up there, with what he’s looking for and what he’s trying to do. He’s been able to execute. It’s good to see him where he’s at right now.”
Entering Friday, his average exit velocity (98.7 mph), max exit velocity (120.1 mph) and hard-hit percentage (67.2 percent) all led MLB, according to Baseball Savant.
Stanton continued to smoke the ball Friday. His first-inning double to the gap in right-center field came off the bat at 115.7 mph, his single in the fourth was 114.5 mph and his single in the seventh was 107 mph.
“Going to Big G at second, who’s one of the hottest hitters in the game right now,” Aaron Judge said. “It looks like every single ball he touches is 120 [mph off the bat].”