Yankees DH Giancarlo Stanton wasted no time staking starter Gerrit Cole to an early lead on Opening Day against the Nationals on Thursday in Washington D.C. Max Scherzer started the top of the first inning by inducing a ground out from Aaron Hicks. Aaron Judge followed up with a ground ball single to left field. Gleyber Torres then grounded out, pushing Judge to second base.
Stanton, batting fourth, took a first-pitch slider for strike one, then a cutter outside to even the count. Scherzer followed up with a cutter that caught too much of the plate. Stanton crushed it out to left-center field at Nationals Park for a two-run homer, the first of the 2020 regular season.
Statcast measured the blast at 459 feet, which stands as his longest homer as a Yankee.
Adam Eaton clawed back for a run in the bottom half of the first inning, swatting a solo homer off of Cole that went out to right field.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”