Salty fans, hot Yankees greet Astros in return to Bronx

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Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, watches as New York Yankees' Rougned Odor, left, and Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, right, react to being injured on a play at home plate during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK – 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 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 sate 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 of 10,850 skipped subtle barbs for salty language, aimed 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.”