April 4 (UPI) — New York Yankees fans let Giancarlo Stanton hear a chorus of boos after he struck out five times against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
The boo-birds were out several times, letting the slugger hear it Tuesday during the Yankees’ 11-4 victory. Stanton went 0-for-5, with five strikeouts and left eight runners on base from the No. 3 spot in the Yankees’ batting order. The 2017 National League MVP is hitting .211 on the season, with two home runs, four RBIs and nine strikeouts.
Rays right-handed starter Chris Archer was the first pitcher to fan Stanton. Archer got Stanton swinging on an 89.8-mph slider to end the first inning. Archer struck out Stanton again in the third inning. That time, the righty ripped in a 94-mph slider and caught the slugger looking.
Archer’s third strikeout of Stanton came in the fifth frame. The Rays pitcher struck him out swinging once again during that matchup, finishing him off with a 93.8-mph four-seam fastball.
It was Austin Pruitt’s chance to get Stanton in the seventh inning. The Rays reliever threw two consecutive balls, before getting a called strike. He then sent Stanton back to the dugout after he whiffed on two consecutive four-seam fastballs. Fans from around the stadium let out a wave of boos after witnessing Stanton’s first appearance as a member of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Stanton’s final strikeout of the day came at the hands of Sergio Romo in the eighth inning. Romo worked a 1-2 count against the slugger before fooling him with a 77.4-mph slider for his fifth strikeout in five at-bats.
The crowd let out more boos after that empty plate appearance.
Didi Gregorius carried the Yankees, going 4-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and eight RBIs.
“He picked me up, too,” Stanton told reporters after the game. “That’s what a cleanup hitter does. You clean up the garbage in front of you.”