Rizzo (3 homers), Gallo (his 1st) power Yanks

April 27th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Anthony Rizzo stood in the batter’s box for a few extra beats during his eighth-inning at-bat on Tuesday night, tracking the arc of a ridiculously high drive as it sailed toward right field. It was definitely a foul ball, he thought, but there would be no harm in watching it.

Then it started to slice ever so slightly, and … could it be?

Rizzo tossed his bat aside, laughed as the ball clanged against the fair pole, and began trotting around the basepaths with the first three-homer game of his career -- coming in a 12-8 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on a night that Rizzo will never forget.

“I was just shocked,” said Rizzo, whose trio of blasts helped to power New York’s fourth consecutive victory. “I’ve never hit three homers in a game. It was a cool way for it to come back and be fair. I thought there was a 0% chance that it would be fair.”

Rizzo's third homer had an expected batting average — based on launch angle and exit velocity -- of .010. His eight home runs lead the Majors, and he is the 33rd Yankee to hit three or more homers in a single game (24th in the regular season). Rizzo cracked a three-run home run in the third inning, then added a two-run shot in the fifth -- both off Baltimore starter Jordan Lyles. The eighth-inning drive came off Alexander Wells.

“I thought it was definitely foul,” said manager Aaron Boone. “Usually, I don’t watch [the ball]; I watch the hitter because they’ll kind of tell you. Something told me to turn and watch this, and it just started coming back. The way he cut it, it sliced on him -- it was an odd ball flight, for sure.”

Said Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde: “Rizz is tough because he’s right on top of the plate. He has huge power, can hit the ball to all fields and he’s smart. Tonight he took advantage of three pull-side homers here. Sometimes you need to tip your cap. He had a big night.”

Gallo has been the polar opposite of Rizzo, notching his first extra-base hit only this past weekend, and no one needed a long ball more than the two-run shot Gallo parked toward the left-center-field loading dock in the fifth inning.

“We saw him smile,” Rizzo said. “I think that’s the first time any of us have ever seen him smile, so we were all pumped.”

As Gallo returned to the dugout, he received the silent treatment from his teammates, who pretended not to have noticed the 426-foot drive. Gallo beamed and his teammates broke, embracing him with a parade of back thumps and head pats. Gallo hadn’t homered in a career-long 23 games, dating to last season.

“I haven’t gotten [the silent treatment] since my first home run in the big leagues,” Gallo said. “It’s been a little while. I didn’t expect them to do that, but I was laughing. I thought it was pretty funny.”

Aaron Judge joined the party with a solo home run in the eighth inning on his 30th birthday, his fourth homer of the year. Judge became the third Yankee to homer on his 30th birthday, joining Lou Gehrig (1933) and Jerry Mumphrey (1982).

The Yanks’ second straight game with double-digit production helped support right-hander Luis Severino, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Jorge Mateo snapped the bid with a one-out single.

Anthony Santander hit a three-run homer off Severino, who was charged with four runs on three hits over six-plus frames. Boone said that he thought Severino fatigued in the sixth.

“I was pretty good, executing my pitches,” Severino said. “In the sixth inning, I was behind in the count and walked a couple. The homer, I don’t know how it got out. I don’t know how to explain that.”

Gleyber Torres provided insurance runs with a three-run triple in the seventh, though Baltimore continued to battle back on a wobbly night for New York’s bullpen, with Austin Hays hitting a late three-run shot off Jonathan Loáisiga.

“It was good to see us continue to add on, because it’s not going to be perfect every night,” Boone said.

Yes, Rizzo’s drives covered up for those blips and then some. That made him a very deserving recipient as he trotted up the dugout steps to acknowledge the cheering crowd, doffing his batting helmet.

“It’s a game that I’ll never forget -- a first-time game,” Rizzo said. “A curtain call here at Yankee Stadium, that’s special.”