Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton bids to continue power surge vs. Twins

New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton smiled at the question.

Which type of home run is his favorite? Is it a towering blast that soars deep into the bleachers, or a line-drive rocket that leaves the field in a hurry?

“I like the ones where I know off the bat,” Stanton told the Yankees’ TV broadcast team, “so I don’t have to (wonder) is it out, is it going, and sprint out a little bit. But either way, anything to help the team win.”

Stanton has been doing that a lot lately. He will look to continue his hot streak when the Yankees play the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night in the second contest of a three-game set in Minneapolis.

The Yankees won the series opener 5-1 on Tuesday thanks in part to Stanton’s 427-foot blast in the third inning. It marked his ninth home run of the season and his third in the last six games.

New York, which has won eight of its past 10 games, racked up 13 hits in the series opener, including a two-run double by Alex Verdugo and an RBI double by Anthony Volpe.

Stanton wants to see another team effort in the series’ second game.

“Everyone was on base (Tuesday),” Stanton said. “That’s huge. That’s pressure on their pitchers and pressure every inning, and that’s important.”

Twins right-hander Pablo Lopez (4-2, 3.89 ERA) will try to cool down the Yankees’ hot bats in his ninth start of the season. Lopez has won his past three starts.

In his last outing, against Seattle on Thursday, he allowed one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked none and struck out 10, a season high.

Lopez has faced the Yankees twice in his career, going 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA and allowing three runs on 14 hits in 12 innings.

New York will counter on Wednesday with right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-2, 3.80 ERA). The 33-year-old is searching for his first victory since April 23 against the Oakland Athletics.

Stroman allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent start, Thursday against the Houston Astros. He walked two and struck out five in the 4-3 loss.

In six career starts against the Twins, Stroman is 1-4 with a 5.82 ERA. He faced Minnesota once last year, when he gave up six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Twins will remain without outfielder Byron Buxton for the remainder of the series against the Yankees. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said Tuesday that Buxton is scheduled to play with Triple-A St. Paul on Wednesday and Thursday as part of a brief injury rehabilitation assignment to build strength and stamina.

Buxton has not played since May 1 because of right knee inflammation. He hit .250 with one home run, 11 RBIs and one stolen base before he was injured.

“We’re just going to give him a few more days to settle into some high-speed activity, and then I think we can activate him,” Baldelli said.

Minnesota is 11-9 at home this season. The Yankees are 15-9 on the road.

–Field Level Media