MLB: Giancarlo Stanton set to rejoin Yanks for opener vs. A’s


Giancarlo Stanton is expected to return as a designated hitter when the New York Yankees open a four-game road series against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.

The series is a rematch of a three-game New York home sweep in late June that ended the same way this one apparently will begin — with Stanton serving as a DH.

Stanton hit a three-run homer off Cole Irvin in that most recent meeting on June 29. He also homered as a DH in the series opener off Paul Blackburn two days earlier, the homers being his only hits in six at-bats in the series.

The oft-injured 32-year-old has hit .204 with 12 homers in 165 plate appearances as a DH this season, as opposed to .252 with 12 homers in 163 plate appearances in all other capacities.

Stanton made a two-game rehab stop at Double-A Somerset to demonstrate he is ready to return from left Achilles soreness that has kept him off the major league diamond since July 23. He went 0-for-7 but passed the test, though he was told by New York manager Aaron Boone that he would be eased back into the swing of things this week.

“I just want to jump in there and get some games under my belt to get a better gauge of it,” Stanton said this week of being used as a DH. “But I help the team better when I’m in the outfield and make us more dynamic.”

The Yankees had Wednesday off following a two-game sweep of the rival New York Mets. Counting a home triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, the Yankees have won three in a row, all by 4-2 counts.

Despite the winning streak, the Stanton-less club has lost 14 of its past 20 games. The Yankees have been held to four runs or less in 13 of their past 14 outings.

They will see one of their former farmhands — James Kaprielian (3-7, 4.29 ERA) — in the series opener. The Yankees selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of UCLA. The right-hander was acquired by the A’s as a minor-leaguer at the trade deadline in 2017 as part of a package for Sonny Gray.

Kaprielian, 28, has faced New York twice since, going 1-0 with a 7.59 ERA. Both of those starts occurred last season, including a head-to-head matchup with Jameson Taillon a year ago Friday, when he was roughed up for six runs in five innings, including a homer by Stanton.

Oakland gave itself a bit of momentum on the eve of the series with a 3-2, 10-inning, walk-off win over Miami on Wednesday. The A’s totaled just six runs while losing two of three to the Marlins.

Skye Bolt, who authored the walk-off with a sacrifice fly, insisted he and his young teammates aren’t intimidated by the Yankees.

“I don’t know if it’s by design or by happenstance, but we always play our best ball against the best team in the division,” he said. “Houston, we play great ball against (them). Same with a lot of those other teams.”

The A’s are expected to draw Taillon (11-4, 4.00 ERA) in the series opener. He has never lost to Oakland, going 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts.

Taillon, however, surrendered five runs in 3 2/3 innings in his head-to-head with Kaprielian last August, a game the Yankees won 7-6. Sean Murphy tagged him for a homer in that one.

Taillon gave up three runs in five innings in a 5-3 home win over the A’s on June 29. All three runs came in the first inning.

–Field Level Media

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