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Salty fans, hot Yankees greet Astros in return to Bronx

NEW YORK (AP) – Vulgar and direct, Yankees fans cranked up a baleful cacophony for the scandal-tainted Houston Astros – thunderous heckles that belied their pandemic-restricted numbers.

“It sounded like a packed house,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

About the only thing louder? Maybe the ball is coming off Giancarlo Stanton’s bat.

Boos and bad words streamed from the seats in the Astros’ return to the Bronx, and Stanton had a homer and four hits to help New York state those spiteful fans in a 7-3 victory Tuesday night.

In Houston’s first visit to New York, since the Astros’ sign-stealing scam was exposed, an error by third baseman Alex Bregman in the sixth inning let New York blow the game open.

“That was intense,” Stanton said. “I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of that. They brought something heavy.” A sellout crowd 10,850 skipped subtle barbs for salty language, especially at 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve. Several brought signs insulting the Astros, and security confiscated multiple inflatable trash cans.

“That was playoff energy, even though we’re not at full capacity,” Stanton said. “That was fun. They brought the noise.” Bregman momentarily hushed those haters when he homered in the first inning off Domingo Germán, but Bregman’s miscue in the sixth with the game tied 3-3 doomed Houston.


He barehanded DJ LeMahieu’s bases-loaded slow roller but skipped his throw past first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Three runs scored on the play, the last Rougned Odor, whose left knee slammed into catcher Martín Maldonado’s head as he reached the plate. Odor appeared to be trying to avoid LeMahieu’s bat lying in the right-handed batter’s box. LeMahieu was credited with a single and an RBI, and one of the runs was unearned. Stanton made it 7-3 when he scored LeMahieu with a single.

“Looking back now, I probably should’ve eaten it,” Bregman said.

The Yankees have won nine of 12 and improved to 15-14, their first time over .500 since they were 3-2. Lucas Luetge (2-0) pitched a scoreless sixth and was credited with the win.

Brandon Bielak (1-1) took the loss.

New York players and coaches downplayed any lingering bitterness toward Houston ahead of this series, but their supporters had no such filter.

A Major League Baseball investigation confirmed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title – they beat New York in a seven-game AL Championship Series on the way. Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired in the fallout. Hinch, now managing the Tigers, heard a few boos in his return to Yankee Stadium over the weekend.

Astros players, though, were granted immunity during the probe – a decision that peeved players and fans alike when it was handed down in January 2020. Before the game, vendors outside the stadium sold merchandise mocking the Astros, including profane shirts and foam fingers – one digit raised, not the pointer. Fans gathered near the visiting dugout to boo Houston during batting practice, the harshest jeers saved for Altuve, who edged Yankees star Aaron Judge for AL MVP in 2017.

When he walked out to the bullpen, Germán egged on the fans with arm gestures.

“The energy that was created, we haven’t seen that since 2019,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

The insult intensified when Houston’s lineup was introduced, focusing on the four regulars remaining from 2017 – Altuve, Bregman, Gurriel, and Carlos Correa. Altuve was met by loud boos when he led off the first. They persisted throughout the inning – pausing only for a beat after Bregman hit a two-out, solo homer. Fans were chanting a profane insult at Bregman when he connected.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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