TORONTO – Thursday evening, Anthony Rizzo showed up to finish the match.
On Friday night, he effectively did the same thing – in the fifth inning.
Rizzo crushed the Grand Slam to close out an eight-round frame as the Yankees ran off with a 12-3 victory over the Blue Jays In the opening series at the Rogers Center.
After he went on Thursday, Homer gave the Yankees a 2-1 win over Reese, Rizzo left no doubt with his striker’s roundabout against the Blue Jays, punching him about 435 feet to the surface facing the second deck on the right field. That gave the Yankees a 10-1 lead in the fifth inning, but they netted their eighth straight win on the ice.
“That’s kind of a slam dunk there,” said Director Aaron Boone.
It was Rizzo’s sixth time at home in his last 13 games that he continued to mash the ball into June. He drilled nine home runs in his first 20 games, then hit only two in 30 games before his last hot streak.
Rizzo, who went 2 on 3 by hitting the field and walking the night, has been hitting the ball pretty well lately, even when he’s not fit. Over his past 14 games, he’s hitting 0.291 (16 for 55) with a 0.989 OPS and 18 RBI.
“It just ebbs and flows in the season,” said Rizzo, who also has an 8-for-14 with two center-scoring riders during that time. “Just working through the kinks and always trying to find the right place to be…When I get hits through the pitches, I feel like they lock me up a lot, just staying on the ball.”
Rizzo certainly took a hit in the left thigh to lead the crucial fifth game on Friday.
Later in the frame, the Blue Jays deliberately walked with Aaron Judge to load the bases with Josh Donaldson, who hit her. But Rizzo didn’t let them slip off the hook, clearing a hanging curve ball from Trevor Richards in his sixth major of his career and third at home to the Yankees in the inning.
“Rules loaded, walk the Gadji Road and just to be able to get there — we all want to get them to pay, at all times, when anyone is intentionally walking,” Rizzo said. “But the year [Judge] We have, we just want to have his back always. Grand slams are the best way you can do it.
After seeing Rizzo slash his May .167/.268/.313, Boone is happy to put it back in a groove.
“It was good, because he’s been grinding there all that month,” Boone said. “He still had some big hits, but he was grinding through. It’s nice to see, in the last week or ten days, he’s really started – the quality of his calling is really improving now.”
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