NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton's Big Apple debut went dramatically different than he and Yankees fans had hoped, as his five-strikeout performance drew boos late in the Bronx Bombers' home-opening win.
"You put up a performance like that, you should get some boos," Stanton said at his locker to a horde of reporters following his 0-for-5 afternoon.
The boos came in the bottom of the eighth inning as Stanton walked back to the Yankees' dugout after swinging at a 77 mph slider from Tampa Bay Rays reliever Sergio Romo. It was the slugger's final strikeout of the game.
"Everyone's been booed. It's no big deal," Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said. "He knows that. It's just, you got to go out there and just do your job the next day. If you don't have it one day, you can't complain, can't mope -- which he's not. He knows how it is.
"He just didn't have his best stuff [Tuesday], so he's going to keep working and get them [Wednesday]."
Stanton was named last season's National League MVP after a major-league-leading 59 home runs. He came to New York in the offseason via a trade with the Miami Marlins. After he crushed a pair of home runs on Opening Day in Toronto on Thursday, expectations were high that he might replicate that performance when he played in pinstripes for the first time in the regular season.
"Good thing it's not all about me," Stanton said. "I was awful [Tuesday], but Didi picked me up and the rest of the guys. That's what you need on a not-so-good night for an individual."
Gregorius finished the game 4-for-4 with two home runs and a double. He also drove in a career-high eight RBIs. He's the first Yankees player to have a two-homer, eight-RBI game since Alex Rodriguez had three home runs and 10 RBIs against the Los Angeles Angelsin 2005.
"He picked me up," Stanton said of Gregorius. "That's what a cleanup hitter does -- clean up the garbage in front of you."
Despite Stanton's shoddy statistical showing, Yankees manager Aaron Boone wasn't stressing over the down day.
"I like when the big boy doesn't get any and we're able to score 11," Boone said. "Because there's going to be a lot of days when we hop on his back. And being that kind of day, I actually thought he looked OK at the plate. He was close on a couple. He almost clipped a couple on the balls he fouled off.
"So just one of those days when you're a big-time slugger like that, there will be days like that. The fact that we're still able to roll out 11, I don't even blink at it."