The Gary Sanchez redemption tour is underway on Opening Day.
The Yankees catcher, coming off a brutal 2020, crushed a two-run home run in his first at-bat of the regular season Thursday, taking Blue Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu deep at Yankee Stadium.
Sanchez’s first home run of the season came on a 91 mph fastball from Ryu, which Sanchez turned on and drove 407 feet to left field. It gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the second inning.
Sanchez had homered in his second game of spring training, after an offseason that drew praise from the Yankees for the work he put in both offensively and defensively.
That he was in the starting lineup Thursday was notable, catching Gerrit Cole for the first time in a game that counted since Kyle Higashioka had taken over for him as Cole’s personal catcher last September.