Rizzo homers twice on his bobblehead night, Rays unable to hold off Yankees rally
NEW YORK, NY - Anthony Rizzo has something new to watch the next time he’s looking for something to stream.
Rizzo homered twice on his bobblehead giveaway night, the second a go-ahead, two-run drive in the eighth inning that lifted the New York Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Friday.
Rizzo, whose bobblehead likeness was adorned in Mandalorian garb on "Star Wars" Night, hit a solo homer in the first against Trevor Kelly.
After Josh Lowe’s three-run homer off Michael King in the eighth put the Rays ahead 5-4, Aaron Judge walked against Jason Adam (0-1) in the bottom half and Rizzo homered to right. Rizzo watched the ball land as he started his trout and doffed his helmet during a curtain call following his 22nd multi-homer performance.
Asked whether he is a "Star Wars" fan, Rizzo grinned.
"I am now," he said.
As "New York, New York" played on the public address system after the final out, Yoda's image appeared on the center-field video board over the words: "News spreading, you start."
Rizzo leads the Yankees with eight homers and 20 RBIs.
"He’s just been a great presence in the middle of our order and really consistent," manager Aaron Boone said. "Like he usually always does, big hits come with him."
Rizzo had just two hits, both singles, during the three Rizzo bobblehead nights the Chicago Cubs held from 2013-19.
"This is definitely the top one," Rizzo said.
Wandy Peralta earned his first save this season by striking out two in a one-hit ninth. With two outs and one on, Rays manager Kevin Cash sent right-handed-hitting Manuel Margot to pinch hit for the left-handed-hitting Lowe, who had eight RBIs in the first two games of the series. Margot grounded out.
Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe, in a 7-for-53 slide, was dropped to seventh in the order after 23 consecutive starts leading off. He tied the score 2-2 with a fifth-inning homer and put the Yankees ahead with a seventh-inning RBI single.
"To contribute and help the team win feels really, really good," Volpe said.
Clay Holmes (1-2) stranded a pair of runners in the eighth, striking out Wander Franco and retiring Arozarena on a comebacker. New York (22-18) is last in the AL East. eight games behind the Rays.
"It hasn’t been perfect. We’ve been beat up at different times, but this group is really, really competing well," Boone said. "Fall behind, you kind of crawl back to tie it up and then take the lead and then lose the lead and just keep on playing. Just a gutsy win by a lot of guys stepping up there when it’s not easy."
Randy Arozarena homered in the first and Jose Siri in the second, both off Gerrit Cole. The Yankees ace right-hander, who squandered a 6-0 lead in New York’s 8-7, 10-inning loss at the Rays on Sunday, has given up four homers against Tampa Bay in two starts this year after surrendering none in his first seven outings this year.
Arozarena, Siri and Lowe pointed to their biceps and grinned at the Rays dugout following their homers.
"It was a pretty exciting ballgame — we came up short but J-Lowe’s hitting, Randy’s hitting, Siri got a hold of one," Cash said. "A lot to like, just frustrated that we came up short."
NOTHING BUT STAR WARS
A parade of characters from the movies walked around the field about half an hour before first pitch to the tune of Meco’s "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band." Rizzo was adorned in an W-wing pilot outfit and Rays players were pictured as Stormtroopers.
Rays: RHP Drew Rasmussen (right flexor strain) was placed on the 60-day IL, one day after blanking the Yankees over seven innings in a 8-2 win. Rasmussen said he felt nerve discomfort in his right arm while facing his final batter, Gleyber Torres. His final four pitches were all off-speed offerings after he’d spent most of the evening throwing fastballs in the mid-90s. Rasmussen, who has undergone Tommy John surgery twice, said he was hopeful this injury wouldn’t require the operation. ... RHP Chris Muller was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. RHP Zack Littell was claimed off waivers from Boston and LHP Garrett Cleavinger (right knee) transferred to the 60-day IL. RHP Chase Anderson was claimed off waivers by Colorado.
Rays RHP Shane McClanahan (7-0, 1.76 ERA) will try to join Matt Moore (2013) and Charlie Morton (2019) as the only Tampa Bay pitchers to open a season 8-0. Yankees RHP Nestor Cortes (3-2, 4.74 ERA) is 2-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 games against the Rays.