Giancarlo Stanton strikes out five times in Yankees’ win over Rays

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Giancarlo Stanton got off to an auspicious start to his Yankees career, smashing a pair of home runs in an Opening Day win over the Blue Jays. Since then, the slugger has struggled, culminating in a five-strikeout performance in Tuesday’s 11-4 win over the Rays.

Stanton and the Marlins’ Chad Wallach are the only players to strike out five times in a game so far this season. It happened five times last season with Brian Dozier, Javier Baez, Nelson Cruz, Matt Davidson, and Odubel Herrera. The last Yankee to strike out five times in a game was David Adams on September 29, 2013 against the Astros. Stanton had never accomplished the “feat” until Tuesday.

After Tuesday’s action, Stanton is batting .211/.348/.632 with the two home runs as well as four RBI and four runs scored in 23 trips to the plate.

The good news for the Yankees is that they didn’t need Stanton’s bat to hang up double digits on the Rays. Didi Gregorius hit a pair of three-run homers and added a two-run single in a four-hit, eight-RBI performance. The last Yankee to knock in eight runs in a game was Alex Rodriguez on April 26, 2005 against the Angels. He had three homers and 10 RBI that day. Five players in baseball had eight-RBI games last year: Andrew McCutchen, Chris Iannetta, Mookie Betts, Scooter Gennett (4 HR, 10 RBI), and Anthony Rendon (3 HR, 10 RBI).

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.