Anthony Rizzo homers amid productive return to Yankees roster

MILWAUKEE — Anthony Rizzo hadn’t played since Aug. 31, sidelined first with back problems and then with headaches from an epidural.

The Yankees opted to put him back in the lineup Sunday after seeing live batting practice once instead of going to rehab.

Rizzo responded with a home run and two singles in a 12-8 win over the Brewers.

“I’m glad he didn’t do that in a rehab game,” Aaron Boone said. “It was huge. It was good to see him up there able to make his swing. He looked under control.

Rizzo also provided some much-needed protection behind Aaron Judge, who again struck first, with Rizzo at bat in second.

“He’s a big boost,” Judge said of the first baseman. “A guy behind me who can hit home runs, I get more shots over the plate. …He took some good, healthy swings. You never know with a back, how it will react.

Anthony Rizzo celebrates in the Yankees dugout after hitting a home run.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Yankees are hoping Rizzo can stay productive throughout the period and into the playoffs after dealing with back issues for much of the second half.

Rizzo, who missed time three times, said his back “feels good, feels good”.

His third-inning home run was his 31st of the season, second on the team after Judge.

Boone said before the game that Rizzo also gives the Yankees some balance on the left side, especially without Andrew Benintendi and Matt Carpenter, who both went out with broken bones and may not be back this season.

“We’re getting one of our cornerstones back,” Boone said.

Estevan Florial was sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Rizzo.

Frankie Montas was awaiting the results of the MRI scan performed on his right shoulder.
Frankie Montas awaits the results of the MRI scan performed on his right shoulder.

Boone said Frankie Montas “felt better” on Sunday after the MRI of his right shoulder, but the team is waiting for him to see team doctor Chris Ahmad to determine next steps. He will see Ahmad on Monday in New York.

Until that happens, Boone said he wouldn’t know if Montas would need a stint in IL or if his next departure would be pushed back.

If he does, Domingo German is the likely replacement.

Scott Effross (strained shoulder) gave up a home run and two doubles in his rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but is still expected to join the Yankees on Wednesday in the Bronx, while outfielder Harrison Bader is expected make his Yankees debut on Tuesday.

Aaron Hicks homered for the first time since July 9 in Sunday’s win, but he thinks he will lose more time with the addition of Bader after recovering from plantar fasciitis.

Aaron Hicks hits a solo homer, his first since July 9.
Aaron Hicks hits a solo homer, his first since July 9.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Oswaldo Cabrera, who had a home run and three hits on Sunday, will play left field with Bader in the lineup, according to Boone.

“There will be competition for [playing time in left]” Boone said.

Clarke Schmidt pulled off a return of his leg from Kolten Wong in the eighth and left the game, but Boone thought the right-hander would be fine. … Zack Britton is due for another rehab outing on Tuesday. … Jose Trevino is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday after sitting out again on Sunday, with Boone claiming the receiver was getting “beaten” with foul balls.

New York Post

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