Giancarlo Stanton-led Yankees secure series win over Blue Jays with 8-3 statement

The Yankees' strong start to the season continued with their third straight series win, an 8-3 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays, their first AL East opponent of 2024.

Four takeaways from Sunday's game

1. Giancarlo Stanton is all the way back from his previously-slow start. After three hits and a home run in Saturday's 9-8 triumph, he broke open Sunday's 1-1 tie with a two-out, third-inning grand slam that gave the Yankees (8-2) a 5-1 lead and proved to be too much for the Blue Jays (4-6).

Following an 0-for-10 stretch across April 1, 2 and 5, Stanton played a pivotal role in the Yankees' bounce-back efforts against the Blue Jays with four hits (two homers) and five RBI over 11 at-bats. This is the version of Stanton that could take the Yankees to a championship level in a lineup with Juan Soto and Aaron Judge.

2. Luis Gil was erratic at times, but his nasty stuff got him out of trouble. Ultimately, he delivered a winnable outing and showed signs of promise as someone who was just thrown into the fifth-starter role.

With 54 strikes on 95 pitches in 4.1 IP, Gil battled command issues. However, he limited his damage by allowing two runs on two hits while striking out eight, walking four and hitting a batter.

For someone who missed all of 2023 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2022, the 25-year-old RHP has given the Yankees plenty to be optimistic about as he works his way back. Through two starts this season, Gil has allowed three runs on three hits while striking out 14 and walking seven.

3. Sunday's 2-for-5 stat line might not entirely show it, but Gleyber Torres has been grinding out quality at-bats and seeing pitches as the Yankees' leadoff batter. A pair of strike-three calls by umpire Ángel Hernández rung up Torres in the first and third innings, but they were both high out of the zone.

Before Torres grounded out to third base and ended the sixth inning, he wisely laid off a 1-1 changeup by Trevor Richards. As the wild pitch bounced off the plate and kicked to the right, Anthony Volpe scored from 60 feet away and padded the Yankees' 6-3 lead with an insurance run.

4. With Gil unable to get through the fifth inning, the Yankees relied on the bullpen for half of the game. Jake Cousins (1.0), Nick Burdi (0.2), Caleb Ferguson (1.1) and Dennis Santana (1.2) collectively delivered.

Cousins allowed the lone run, a fielder's choice up the middle on a grounder by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that scored Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Otherwise, though, the four relievers locked in for 4.2 IP and brought the Yankees home.

Who is the MVP?

Stanton. Continuing the first takeaway from the above points, the Yankees simply don't win Sunday's game without his clutch moment.


What's next

The Yankees begin a three-game series with a 6:05 p.m. game against the Marlins.

In a battle of the lefties, New York's Nestor Cortes (0-1, 6.30 ERA) and Miami's Jesús Luzardo (0-1, 4.35 ERA) are Monday's starting pitchers.