Giancarlo Stanton walk-off homer gives Yankees 23rd comeback win

NEW YORK -- It took nearly half the season, but Giancarlo Stanton finally had his first iconic moment at Yankee Stadium.

With two outs and a runner on in the bottom of a tied ninth inning Wednesday night, the New York Yankees designated hitter swung at an 84.7 mph slider that he didn't miss.

"I mean," Yankees manager Aaron Boone later said, chuckling, "that ball was killed."

Blasted with a 117.9 mph exit velocity, Stanton connected on a no-doubt-about-it walk-off home run that sent the Yankees home with a 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Seattle Mariners -- one that ultimately gave Stanton his first Gatorade shower in pinstripes.

"That's what you always want," said Stanton, who was traded to New York from the Miami Marlins in December. "You help win a game and you have your whole team waiting for you, that's what you always hope for.

"Fun moments and good future memories."

It's a memory the 46,047 in attendance and countless more watching from afar likely won't forget very soon. The homer capped another comeback, the Yankees' major league-leading 23rd win when trailing at any point in a game this season.

Down in the count 0-2 and seemingly destined to collect his 99th strikeout, Stanton got a pitch from Mariners reliever Ryan Cook that hooked into his hitting zone. As soon as the ball was struck, both players knew it had the potential to leave the ballpark.

"It better have gone out," Stanton said, "because I stood there a little bit, trying to get the team out."

Before even jogging down the first-base line, he turned toward the Yankees' dugout, gleefully jumping and yelling in the direction of his teammates. Cook bent over and shouted in frustration. Seconds later, as Stanton was rounding the bases, a big grin formed on his face that didn't disappear the rest of the night.

As he neared home, Stanton took off his helmet and swung it in a windmill motion three times before launching it toward the Yankees' on-deck circle as he stepped on home plate. Timed perfectly with the score at home was outfielder Brett Gardner, dumping -- as he typically does in walk-off scenarios -- a filled Gatorade cooler on the man who delivered the game-winning blow.

"I love to see the passion and the energy," Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said. "It didn't matter what he did earlier in the game, he was just coming up big for us there."

The homer marked the Yankees' sixth walk-off hit of the season. It also was Stanton's first walk-off homer as a Yankee after having three others with the Marlins. So is it safe to call this the biggest hit he has had in New York?

"Pretty sure," Stanton said, still smiling.

Yankee Stadium had been giving Stanton trouble before the homer. Entering this game, he was batting .213 with 8 homers, 4 doubles, 52 strikeouts and a .699 OPS in 37 games at home. In 32 road games, he is hitting .295 with 9 homers, 8 doubles, 44 strikeouts and a .947 OPS.

According to Statcast, the two-run homer's 117.9 mph exit velocity made it the hardest-hit walk-off since measurements began in 2015. It's baseball's 246th walk-off of the Statcast era.

"That ball was absolutely scalded," Boone said. "When you hit a line drive, that's a base hit to center for me. Giancarlo hits it and starts celebrating at home plate. ... He's just a different animal."

Judge didn't even see Stanton's home run clank off an awning beyond the center-field fence before bouncing back onto the field.

"Right when I heard it, saw it off the bat, I started trying to hop that little [dugout] fence and get out there," Judge said, anticipating the celebration at home plate.

Five of Stanton's 18 home runs this season have left the bat with an exit velocity of 115 mph or faster. No other player in the big leagues has more than three at that speed.

Stanton had limited success this season on 0-2 counts prior to the homer. He entered the game going 3-for-26 (.115) with a homer and 18 strikeouts in such situations.

The 453-foot walk-off also was the fourth-longest home run hit on 0-2 pitches in baseball this season. That trails only a 456-foot shot from Matt Olson earlier this month, another 456-foot homer from Stanton on June 4, and a 461-foot blast from his Yankees teammate Gary Sanchez in May.

Sanchez had his own key home run in Wednesday's win, banging a 439-foot, game-tying home run off the back of the Mariners' bullpen in the eighth.

"We have a really good lineup, really good hitters," Sanchez, who is from the Dominican Republic, said through an interpreter. "We have a team that's playing good baseball. The way I see it, five runs is not going to be enough."

As for Stanton's home run, Boone isn't comfortable saying whether or not he believes it will go down as a defining moment in Stanton's tenure in pinstripes.

"Maybe when we look back on the year, this will be something they can point to," Boone said to reporters. "Certainly for Giancarlo, a guy of his stature. But I don't get that much into that. I'll let you guys define that."