Stanton doubles in return; Yanks fail to clinch

Giancarlo Stanton intends to use the remainder of the regular season as a tune-up for the playoffs, and the Yankees slugger believes that he has enough time to get his swing ready for the most important games of the year.

Stanton returned to the Yankees’ lineup in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Angels, going 1-for-3 with a double in his first big league action since June 25. The extra-base hit came in Stanton’s first at-bat, a second-inning double off Halos starter Dillon Peters.

Stanton played six innings in the field, making a strong throw to home plate on Albert Pujols’ third-inning RBI single. “For not being out there for a few months, I felt good in the box and moved around pretty well in the outfield,” Stanton said. “It was a good start.”

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Stanton grounded out in the third inning and struck out swinging in the sixth. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that he could use Stanton as the designated hitter for all nine innings in Thursday’s series finale, a plan with which Stanton said he agrees.

“I’d like to play as much as I can to get at-bats, but I’ve still got to be smart with not being able to go on a rehab assignment and all that,” Stanton said. “I’ve got to build it up and get it right.”

The Yankees entered Wednesday on the precipice of securing their second consecutive 100-win season, having finished 100-62 in 2018. Boone would thus become the first manager in Major League history to earn 100 victories in each of his first two seasons.

Additionally, with one more win, Boone would join Ralph Houk (205 wins with the Yankees from 1961-62) as the only Major League managers to earn 200 wins over their first two seasons.

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