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Yanks’ Anthony Rizzo, after 3-homer game, seeks encore vs. O’s

Sportsnaut
Apr 26, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) follows through on a three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A few days after the lockout ended which lifted the restrictions on transactions, the New York Yankees moved to retain Anthony Rizzo.

So far, the early returns on the decision are positive. Rizzo will look to maintain his hot start Wednesday night when the Yankees continue a three-game series against the visiting Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees are on a four-game winning streak and own six wins in their past seven games. They enter Wednesday with 22 runs in the past two contests thanks to some big hits from Rizzo.

Rizzo homered three times for the first time in his career Tuesday night when the Yankees took a pair of six-run leads and opened the series with a 12-8 victory. He leads the majors with eight homers and ranks third with 18 RBIs.

Rizzo tied a career high with six RBIs on Tuesday while socking all of his long balls to right field. Over his past six contests, he is batting .400 (10-for-25) with eight runs, five homers and 10 RBIs.

“He’s got that little bit of a knack to do what the situation calls for,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the left-handed hitter, who homered eight times in 49 games for New York last year after being obtained from the Chicago Cubs in July. “I think he will be someone that will be able to take advantage of that porch. I think he likes Yankee Stadium, and after (Tuesday), it sealed it that this is definitely a place he likes to hit.”

Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde, who coached for Rizzo as a member of the Cubs from 2014-18, said, “Riz is tough because he’s right on top of the plate. He’s got huge power. He can hit the ball to all fields.”

Rizzo’s recent performances are part of an offense which has collected 42 hits during the winning streak. Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo also homered on Tuesday while Gleyber Torres added a three-run triple.

“It’s great to see, but I think guys are just really getting settled more and really focused on making really good swing decisions and I feel like that’s improved,” Boone said.

Baltimore has hit four of its eight homers on the season in the past two games, but its pitching has also allowed 19 runs in that span. On Tuesday, the Orioles fell short despite getting three-run homers from Anthony Santander and Austin Hays.

“We didn’t pitch our best game tonight, but I’m pleased with the at-bats,” Hyde said.

The Orioles wound up scoring more than six runs for the first time in 2021 despite being no-hit by Luis Severino for the first 5 1/3 innings.

Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.51 ERA) will get the start for New York on Wednesday. The Yankees have scored a total of four runs in his three starts this season, and they were blanked Thursday when he allowed one run on three hits in six innings at Detroit.

Last season, the Yankees scored three runs or fewer in 15 of his 30 starts, including two September starts against Baltimore.

The 29-year-old left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 13 starts against the Orioles, who are the team Montgomery has faced the most.

Tyler Wells (0-2, 6.75 ERA) is set to make his fourth career start for Baltimore. He last pitched Thursday at Oakland, where he allowed two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings during a 6-4 loss.

The 27-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA in seven career appearances against the Yankees. His lone career start vs. New York came on April 16, when he got a no-decision after tossing four shutout innings.

–Field Level Media