Remember all those questions about reducing Anthony Rizzo’s strength this spring when the Yankees re-signed him? Well, the slugger starts to answer them.
Rizzo hit his first career three home runs on Tuesday night, driving six times as the Bombers beat the Orioles 12–8 at the stadium.
It was the Yankees’ fourth consecutive 11-6 victory of the season and the sixth of the last seven games since the series loss in Baltimore. The Orioles (6-11) have lost two in a row.
Rizzo now leads the majors with an eighth home run and leads the Yankees with 18 RBIs. Aaron Judge scored his fourth of the season on his 30th birthday, Gleyber Torres hit a triple with a triple, his first of the season. Luis Severino took a sixth inning no-hitter and Joey Gallo hit his first homer since September.
Rizzo hit his sixth homer of the season in the third inning off starter Jordan Lyles, a three-shot short porch in right field, 346 feet. In the fifth, he hit a 378-foot two-run shot into Liles’ right field, his best seventh homer in the major leagues.
He added in the eighth with a 327-foot shot that fell right over the fence in the corner of right field near the foul.
It was the 33rd time the Yankees hit three home runs in a regular season game and the first time since Kyle Higashioka did so against the Blue Jays on September 16, 2020.
For Rizzo, it was the 20th multi-home run game of his career and the first game as a Yankee. His last two homer games were nearly a year ago on April 18, 2021 with the Cubs.
When the Yankees re-signed the left slugger last month, there were concerns about his declining power output. According to Baseball Savant, his hard hitting percentage was only in the 49th percentile and his XSlG % was in 54th last season. So far this season, the quality of Rizzo’s hits is better. It is in the 72nd percentile in hit percentage and 96th in XSLG%.
However, Aaron Boone never saw the aging slugger lose power.
“I remember talking to[Cubs manager]David Ross the day we traded him for him and he said he was getting really turned on and we saw that right away. And then you know that he contracted COVID, and it knocked him down a bit. He dealt quite well with not feeling really good and being out for those 10 days, which sort of undermined the momentum he started building in Chicago and then when he first got here,” the Yankees manager said. . “I think we’re seeing a consistent, great player who kind of sticks to the center of everything we do, and he’s such an anchor for us defensively in the center of our squad on the left. He’s the voice in our room, besides being just a great player, there are a lot of tangible things he brings to the game on a daily basis and that’s very, very important.
“And I think being here now, after last year, I’ve sort of established myself and become a leader in his journey. Since spring training, he has been really valuable.”
It’s the offense the Yankees have been looking for to bolster what has been their stellar serve this season. It helped hold the Orioles on Tuesday, despite four runs the Yankees’ bullpen threw, three assigned to Lucas Luetge, and one to Jonathan Loisiga, who turned down a three-shot shot from Austin Hayes.
The Yankees got another strong start from Severino, who had six innings, allowing four runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out five. The right-hander threw 77 assists, 50 strikes. He received 10 hits and misses; four on his slider, three on his shift, and three on his four-seam fastball.
Severino took a no-hitter in the sixth inning. He allowed his first base runner in the fifth on a walk to Hayes, and then Orioles No. 9 hitter Jorge Mateo lined up a single from the left to break a no-hit bid. Severino passed Cedric Mullins five pitches and then Anthony Santander Homered cut the Yankees’ six-run lead in half.
Severino completed six innings and started the seventh, dropping a brace to Rugned Odor.