Giancarlo Stanton resting again as Yankees look to avoid dreaded Red Sox sweep

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Giancarlo Stanton will get another day of rest on Sunday, taking him out of the starting lineup for the nationally televised finale against the Red Sox.

“We’re constantly having that dialogue with him, each and every day,” Aaron Boone said of his recovering slugger. “We’re trying to get him to that point where we need to get him to. I think there’s some residual stuff, and it’s more about building strength and building endurance to play at a level that he obviously needs to play at.”

Since coming back to the active roster on May 28, Stanton has sat out twice in nine games. The Yankees’ upcoming schedule also allows for a slow buildup process, as Boone mentioned when describing the decision process behind leaving Stanton out of the starting nine.

“With the off day tomorrow, we’re trying to get him there. We know how important he is to what we do in our offense.”

As his offensive well keeps running dry night after night, Boone also knows that one person will not magically fix things.

“I think it’s going to take everyone,” the manager said in his pregame media availability. “It doesn’t necessarily mean everyone hot, it means everyone is contributing on some level. We’re trying to find any little mechanical thing with individuals we can find to help further unlock them.”

GITTENS GETS THE CALL

Chris Gittens made his major league debut on Saturday, becoming the sixth different player to start at first base for the Yankees this season. Gittens joined DJ Lemahieu, Mike Ford, Jay Bruce, Luke Voit and Miguel Andujar on the growing list of first basemen. Center field is the only defensive position where the Yankees have had more starters, as seven different players have captained the outfield.

Gittens went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk in his first game. Batting in the sixth spot in the lineup, Gittens grounded out in his first two at-bats with no one on base. He struck out swinging against Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock in the sixth inning, a crucial juncture in the game with Aaron Judge standing on third base and the teams deadlocked at three runs each.

After stepping on a field for the first time, Gittens reflected on the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Literally everything I dreamed of,” Gittens said of debuting in the game’s most storied rivalry. “The stakes, Red Sox vs. Yankees, growing up I watched that all my life.

“It was great. I can’t even describe it, really. I’m still in shock right now. But it was a little tough to get the loss tonight. I treated it like spring training. That was my mentality, [and] pretty much the nerves went away. Once I got a ground ball and a pop fly, that’s when they really went away”

Gittens was in the lineup again at first base Sunday, batting sixth between Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier.

LEAST OF THE EAST

August 2 cannot come soon enough for the Yankees.

That is the next time they will play the Baltimore Orioles, a team they’ve handled with tremendous ease in recent years, and the only AL East team they have a winning record against in 2021.

The Yankees are 14-20 against their divisional foes this season. That includes a 6-4 record against Baltimore, but losing ledgers versus Boston (0-2), Tampa Bay (5-8) and Toronto (3-6). In their 34 games within the division, the Yanks have been outscored by 20 runs.

Following the All-Star break, 11 of the Yankees’ 13 games are matchups with the Red Sox and Rays.

HOUSE OF HORRORS

If Red Sox starter Garrett Richards can secure a win on Sunday, not only would it give his team a sweep over their most bitter adversary, it would also be his first ever against the Yankees.

Entering Sunday’s game, Richards is 0-5 with an 8.42 ERA in seven career showdowns with the Bombers, surrendering 24 earned runs in 25.2 innings. The former Angel has 18 strikeouts and 15 walks against Yankee batters.

Things are only slightly better at Yankee Stadium, where the 11th-year veteran owns a 7.43 ERA. Five home runs in 23 innings stand out, but even more curiously, Richards has uncorked seven wild pitches at the Bronx cathedral, his most at any stadium outside of Anaheim.

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