NEW YORK – Giancarlo Stanton hit a mammoth homer in the first inning and added a two-run homer after a video review in the fifth and the New York Yankees beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 Saturday.
Josh Donaldson hit his 10th homer and Harrison Bader hit a two-run double as the Yankees avoided their third four-game losing streak this year.
After being held to two singles in Friday’s series opener, the Yankees improved to 14-16 since losing Aaron Judge to a torn ligament in his right big toe on June 3.
“Better across the board,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) allowed a two-run homer to former Yankee Mike Tauchman on his final batter and allowed three runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. He improved to 8-0 this season following a New York loss.
Struggling since returning June 2 from missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury, Stanton hit a 447-foot homer against Drew Smyly (7-6) off the facing of the third deck in left field to put New York ahead 1-0.
“Over the years I got some pretty good ones but that one was nice,” said Stanton, who later added he never hit a ball to the location in batting practice.
It was Stanton’s eighth homer and fourth since coming back. It also was Stanton’s first homer in the Bronx since April 14 — the day before he injured his hamstring while hitting a double.
“That was impressive,” Donaldson said. “Obviously we all know he’s capable of that. That was nice to get the game started that way, kind of set the tone for us today.”
“He hit off the façade of the upper deck,” Boone added. “I’ve never seen a ball go up there. He hit it 118, that high to the direct pull side. It’s like you can’t make that up.”
According to Statcast, the homer had a 118.1 mph exit velocity, was Stanton's hardest-hit ball this season and the third hardest-hit this year behind Atlanta’s Matt Olson (118.6) and White Sox slugger Jake Burger (118.2).
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Cole said. “He’s a strong man, a very, very good strong man. It’s a good jolt for us. We love seeing him have success. He works so hard.”
It was Stanton’s second-longest homer behind a 485-foot drive off San Francisco’s Ross Stripling on April 2.
“Stanton is a massive human being,” Smyly said. “You feel like if you throw it in the strike zone, you are putting it on a tee.”
Stanton homered again in the fifth, but this time he lined a pitch from reliever Michael Rucker the opposite way down the right-field line. The ball hit off the bottom of the right field foul pole and Stanton began his home run trot before stopping at third.
Following a brief crew chief review, the call was overturned and Stanton was awarded his ninth homer.
“I saw it hit off the pole, but I don’t know how that works,” Stanton said.
It was Stanton’s 36th career multi-homer game and the 322-foot drive gave him a multi-homer game for the first time since May 12, 2022, in Chicago against the White Sox.
Stanton started in right field for the 11th time and reached base three times, sandwiching a walk around the home runs. The big day gave him 10 RBIs over his past 11 games.
Cole retired 16 of 17 hitters until Miles Mastrobuoni singled. Tauchman, who played 141 games for the Yankees from 2019 to 2021, chased Cole with a drive into the right field bleachers.
Michael King got the final five outs for his sixth save, finishing it off when Bader made a diving catch on Yan Gomes’ sinking liner to center field.
The Cubs lost for the ninth time in 13 games and scored their first run off Cole on a groundout by Nico Hoerner in the third.
Smyly allowed four runs and six hits in four innings. Facing the Yankees for the first time since 2016, the left-hander did not pitch beyond the fourth for the third straight start.
Chicago OF Cody Bellinger went 0 for 4 and had a career-high 13-game hitting streak stopped.
He hit four fly balls, including one to the warning track in center field in the ninth against King.
During the streak, Bellinger batted .479 (23-for-48).
Cubs: Shortstop Dansby Swanson was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a bruised left foot.
Yankees: OF Aaron Judge (torn ligament in right toe) said he is still deciding about traveling to the All-Star Game in Seattle or whether he will get treatment during the break in New York.
“I’ll have an answer here in a couple of days, so we’ll see,” he said.
Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 2.64 ERA) opposes New York RHP Domingo Germán (5-5, 4.52) on Sunday.