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Giancarlo Stanton homers twice in Yankees debut

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Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is now a true Yankee after homering in his first at-bat with his new team on Opening Day in Toronto.

As Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes, Stanton is the third player since 1961 to homer in his first at-bat as a Yankee on Opening Day, joining Curtis Granderson (2010) and Jimmy Wynn (1977).

And as MLB.com’s David Adler notes, Stanton’s home run went 117.3 MPH off the bat, the hardest-hit opposite field home run in the Statcast era.

You may recall that the Yankees acquired Stanton back in December from the Marlins in exchange for Starlin Castro and minor leaguers Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman.

Update (6:56 PM ET): Stanton homered again, swatting a solo home run to center field off of Tyler Clippard in the top of the ninth inning, boosting the Yankees’ lead to 6-1 over the Blue Jays.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.