NEW YORK — On a night when the boo birds never stopped chirping, the Yankees gave a sellout crowd something to cheer about.
In their first head-to-head matchup since details of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal broke a year ago, the Yankees stole the show with a 7-3 win over Houston.
The rematch began with a barrage of booing, chanting and pure unadulterated hatred directed toward members of the Astros from the Yankee faithful. And it never stopped. Fans didn't hold back all night long, from batting practice all the way to the final out.
The consensus from the Yankees leading up to this game was that New York was focused on getting back at their cheating counterparts between the lines. Rather than letting the history between the two clubs get under their skin, they believed focusing on a win whenever the these teams faced off was the best way to respond.
Riding the "wild atmosphere" the fans fostered in the Bronx, as DJ LeMahieu called it, New York took care of business in all facets of the game.
"It felt like a playoff atmosphere," manager Aaron Boone said. "10,000 fans, whatever in there, the energy that was created, we haven't seen that since 2019. It was a fun game to be a part of. And guys did a lot of really good things tonight. Defensively, some big at bats, some big pitching performances."
A solo home run from third baseman Alex Bregman in the top of the first showed the Astros weren't going down without a fight. New York quickly responded, though. A red-hot Giancarlo Stanton sent a towering two-run home run into the left-field seats in the bottom half, igniting the crowd into a frenzy.
With the game tied in the sixth, the Yankees jumped back in front and never looked back. An infield single from LeMahieu with the bases loaded turned into three runs as third baseman Alex Bregman—who was serenaded with boos all night—tried to make a barehand play, skipping a throw past Yuli Gurriel at first.
Scoring all the way from first, Rougned Odor stepped on home plate awkwardly, colliding with catcher Martín Maldonado. Both players were shaken up on the play, but walked off on their own power.
The next batter was Stanton, who slapped an RBI single through the right side. The slugger finished with four hits—a triple shy of the cycle—while extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
After the game, Stanton agreed that Tuesday night felt like a playoff game, explaining that the fans in the ballpark led the charge, expressing some "bottled up emotions."
"That was intense. I wouldn't want to be on the other side of that," he said. "They brought something heavy."
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve took it the hardest, receiving the brunt of the fans' anger practically all night long. When he'd step up to the plate, he was booed mercilessly. Then, out of nowhere, fans would break out in "F*** Altuve" chants, their voices ringing across the stadium over and over.
These two teams will play two more times this week and if Tuesday night was any indication, the unwavering heckling from the crowd won't be going anywhere. The Yankees aren't complaining about it either.
"It was a lot of fun to be a part of, on our side at least," LeMahieu said. "I think the fans have their opinion and they had our backs the whole game. To know the fans have our backs like that, that's pretty special."
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