Giancarlo Stanton experienced a memorable debut for the New York Yankees by homering in his first and last at-bats while driving in four runs to begin the Aaron Boone era with a 6-1 victory over the host Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Stanton hit a two-run on the second pitch he saw as a Yankee when he drove an 0-1 fastball from J.A. Happ (0-1) over the right-center field wall. Stanton’s first hit for the Yankees had a recorded exit velocity of 117.3 mph.
The right-handed hitting designated hitter also recorded the hardest hit homer to the opposite field tracked by Statcast.
Stanton drove in his third run with a double to the left-center field gap off John Axford in the fifth.
He drove in his fourth run by blasting a full-count changeup from Tyler Clippard over the center-field fence in the ninth.
Stanton joined Roger Maris (1960) and Todd Zeile (2003) as Yankees to get at least two extra-base hits and drive in three runs in their Yankees’ debuts. Stanton also became the first Yankee to homer on Opening Day in his first season with the team since Raul Ibanez in 2012.
Stanton also became the first Yankee to hit two homers in a season opener since Joe Pepitone in 1963.
Gary Sanchez added an RBI double in the fifth after Stanton’s double and Brett Gardner homered in the seventh as the Yankees gave Boone his first managerial win after he took over for Joe Girardi.
Luis Severino (1-0) allowed one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out seven, walked three in a 91-pitch outing while becoming the first Yankee since Roger Clemens in 2003 to produce a scoreless outing in a season opener.
At 24 years, 37 days, he was New York’s youngest Opening Day starter since Lefty Gomez in 1932 at Philadelphia and became the first Yankee to allow one hit or less in a season opener.
Happ allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits while laboring through 4 2/3 innings. He took his first loss to the Yankees in 11 starts since Aug. 27, 2013 in Toronto.
Curtis Granderson recorded Toronto’s first hit with a one-out single up the middle in the fourth and Kevin Pillar homered in the eighth off Dellin Betances.
A ceremony was held in honor of former Toronto right-hander Roy Halladay, who died Nov. 7 in a plane crash in Florida. The Blue Jays retired his No. 32 and his two sons Braden and Ryan placed the ball on the mound where Halladay pitched for 12 of his 16 seasons.
—Field Level Media