Yankees slugger Stanton faces Marlins for first time (Apr 15, 2018)

April 15, 2018

NEW YORK -- The last time Giancarlo Stanton appeared at Yankee Stadium, he was getting booed loudly for making the last out of a frustrating loss to the Baltimore Orioles by striking out for the fifth time.

Eight days later, Stanton will attempt to satisfy fans and will be facing a familiar opponent with mostly unfamiliar faces.

Stanton gets his first at-bats against his former team Monday night when the New York Yankees host the Miami Marlins in the opener of a two-game series.

Stanton is returning home after going 6-for-17 on a trip through Boston and Detroit that was shortened because of a rainout on Saturday and a rainout of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday in Detroit.

Before going on the trip, Stanton was hitting .167 (7-for-42) with 20 strikeouts, but he returns home with a .220 average. Despite his low average, Stanton's 10 RBIs are tied for second on the team with Gary Sanchez and his .761 OPS is fourth on the team.

"Much better," Stanton told reporters when asked when how he feels at the plate. "My balance points are better, I'm picking the ball up better. Just got to continue."

Stanton is facing Miami for the first time since former Yankees captain and current Marlins owner Derek Jeter traded him. He was dealt to the Yankees after declining to waive his no-trade clause in a deal with San Francisco and St. Louis and told reporters there are not any bad feelings toward Jeter.

"I mean, I don't think there's any crazy bad blood besides what (the media) stirred up," Stanton said. "I mean, we were very honest with each other in our meetings and that's the business side of it, but there's no bad blood on this side."

The Yankees will return home coming off an 8-6 win on Friday, which improved their record to 7-7.

Aaron Hicks returned from the disabled list with an inside-the-park homer and a two-run homer. Aaron Judge extended his hitting streak to 11 games and is hitting .390 (16-for-41)) in those games.

Besides trading Stanton, the Marlins also dealt Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. They have dropped nine of their last 11 games heading into a road trip through New York, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles.

Miami's latest loss was a 7-3 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday when it capped a 1-5 homestand by striking out 13 times and allowing 13 hits.

"This was a little rougher one," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "They're not really beating us down (on Sunday), but more like a couple (runs) here, another one, another one, another one. They had us in harm's way pretty much all day long."

Justin Bour hit a pinch-two-run homer and has four homers in his last five games after going the first 10 games without a homer.

Starlin Castro was part of the trade for Stanton after spending the previous two seasons with the Yankees. He is hitting .295 with six RBIs and his first home run for the Marlins will be the 100th of his career.

New York's Luis Severino will make his fourth start of the season and look to rebound from a nightmarish showing on Tuesday in Boston. He was rocked for five runs and eight hits in five innings in Tuesday's 14-1 loss to the Red Sox.

It was just his third career start where he allowed at least five runs without allowing a home run.

Severino said he struggled with his slider, but manager Aaron Boone hinted the right-hander might have been tipping pitches while working in 38-degree conditions.

"We've addressed certain things in the past," Boone said after the loss. "We've noticed things from time to time. We're always as vigilant as we can be with what he may or may not be doing."

Caleb Smith, who was part of another trade with the Yankees, starts for the Marlins. Smith was 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in nine appearances (two starts) for the Yankees last season.

This season, he is 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA in three starts. He last pitched Tuesday against the New York Mets, when he allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.

The Yankees swept a two-game series from the Marlins during the 2015 season.