NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton’s teammates jumped out of the dugout, amazed at how fast the power hitter’s latest homer sped into the Yankee Stadium seats.
The Yankee slugger? Well, it was just another one in his ledger.
Stanton hit the hardest homer ever measured by Major League Baseball’s Statcast system, Neil Walker hit two more home runs and New York beat the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Thursday night.
“It’s cool when you get to numbers like that,” Stanton said. “But in general, if it goes over the fence, it goes over the fence. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. So, I seen balls 95 mph go over.”
Stanton’s 28th homer was measured at 121.7 mph, the fastest long ball tracked by Statcast since the system was introduced in 2015. The line drive landed a few rows into the second level of seats in left field.
Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks also went deep, helping the Yankees win their fourth straight since a five-game skid that included a four-game sweep at AL East-leading Boston.
J.A. Happ (12-6) pitched six effective innings in his return from hand, foot and mouth disease. Happ was acquired from Toronto last month and has won both his starts with New York. He allowed three runs, four hits, a walk and struck out nine Thursday.
Hicks kicked off New York’s homer barrage after a questionable decision from Texas manager Jeff Banister.
Rookie Ariel Jurado (2-2) got Stanton to hit into a double play in the first inning, but then Banister ordered an intentional walk to Didi Gregorius.
Hicks followed with a shot, is 20th, to right field for a 2-0 lead.
“I was trying to throw my pitches to sink outside,” Jurado said of his 3-1 pitch. “But I think a couple of pitches were close but they were not strikes. That’s what happened.”
Hicks was more concerned with Stanton’s latest feat.
“For the rest of us, I think it’s a normal base hit and for him it’s a homer,” he said. “It’s special the way that he’s able to make contact on a baseball.”
After his bullpen got taxed during their three-game set in Chicago, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was looking for a longer outing from Haap, who had not pitched since July 29. He didn’t disappoint.
“I knew that we needed some innings,” Happ said. “I did what I could out there. Would have like to (have) gone one or two more.”
Haap struck out the side in the first after hitting Shin-Soo Choo to start the first of a four-game series against Texas. The 35-year-old retired the next five before once again nailing Choo with a pitch in the third before Rougned Odor flew out to end the inning.
Jurickson Profar hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and Choo added a two-run double in the fifth to make it 5-3.
Stanton hit his lined shot out to left in the fifth inning, making it the third straight game he’s homered in. Walker’s home run in the sixth made it 7-3.
All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman walked two in the ninth before getting a fielder’s choice from pinch-hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa and striking out Choo and Odor.
BRINGING THEM IN
Hicks’ two-run homer gave him a career-high 53 RBIs.
SWITCH IT UP
Walker homered from both sides of the plate for the first time in his career. It was his sixth multi-homer game of his career, last on May 26, 2017 at Pittsburgh while with the New York Mets.
Walker’s two-homer game was New York’s 20th multi-homer game of the season, four shy of the MLB record of 24 set by the 1961 Yankees and 1966 Atlanta Braves.
Rangers: OF Delino DeShields Jr. is still dealing with concussion symptoms and the team is still unsure whether he will be activated as early as Friday. DeShields hurt himself trying to make a sliding catch and banged his head on the ground about four weeks ago and went on the 7-day concussion list last Saturday, a day after he was taken out of the lineup due to headaches.
Yankees: C Gary Sanchez (groin) was schedule to do some running at the team’s facility in Tampa. He’s been on the disabled list since July 24 and is expected to rejoin the team at home this weekend for further evaluations. ... RHP Chance Adams was demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Wednesday night’s game in Chicago to make room for Haap.
New York RHP Masahiro Tanaka (9-2, 3.76 ERA) starts opposite LHP Mike Minor (8-6, 4.53) in the second game of the series. In five starts against Texas, Tanaka is just 1-2 with a 6.52 ERA.