Anthony Rizzo belts another HR to lead Yankees past Marlins

MIAMI — Anthony Rizzo hasn’t wasted any time making his mark on the Yankees.

He hit a monstrous home run in his debut on Friday to give the Yankees a lead and the first baseman delivered again in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Marlins, when he scored the go-ahead run in the fifth and added another towering homer two innings later for an insurance run.

“I think the heat of [the playoff] chase definitely invigorated him,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “I think he is one of those guys who truly does live for that.”

The 31-year-old Rizzo, acquired from the Cubs on Thursday, was in the midst of a hot streak with Chicago before the move and it has continued with his new team.

“Every game intensifies,’’ Rizzo said of playing for a spot in the postseason with the Yankees after the Cubs’ struggles led to last week’s fire sale. “It’s what you play baseball for.”

Rizzo has hit five home runs in his last six games and provided a much-needed jolt to an offense that has underperformed all season.

He got on base in all five of his plate appearances Saturday, despite a scare in the second when he was hit by a pitch on his right hand by Trevor Rogers.

It didn’t slow him down, as he added a walk and a single before hitting his 16th homer of the year — which gave the Yankees their 4-2 lead. He walked again in the ninth.

The leadoff single in the fifth was key, as Giancarlo Stanton followed with a walk and both runners advanced on Rougned Odor’s deep fly ball to left.

After Gary Sanchez struck out looking, the Marlins walked Tyler Wade intentionally to get to Domingo German’s spot.

Anthony Rizzo accepts congratulations from teammates after scoring a run in the second inning of the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Marlins.
Anthony Rizzo accepts congratulations from teammates after scoring a run in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Marlins.
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Gio Urshela, not in the starting lineup due to a tight left hamstring, pinch-hit and the Marlins went to Anthony Bender with the bases loaded.

A wild pitch — which catcher Jorge Alfaro probably should have handled — allowed Rizzo to score the go-ahead run before Urshela struck out.

Lucas Luetge replaced German to start the bottom of the fifth and pitched around a leadoff double by Lewis Brinson in the scoreless inning. The lefty then retired the side in order in the sixth, as the Yankees’ new-look bullpen pitched well, also getting a shutout inning from Clay Holmes, who arrived from the Pirates last week.

Chad Green tossed a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Loaisiga came in for the ninth, because Aroldis Chapman had pitched three of the previous four days.

After the pen retired 13 straight following Brinson’s double, Loaisiga allowed a one-out single to Brian Anderson.

Lewin Diaz followed with a grounder to the right side of the infield, which was shifted, allowing Gleyber Torres to field it. Anderson stopped to try to avoid the tag and Torres tagged him with his glove — but had the ball in his hand — and then bounced the throw to Rizzo at first.

Both runners were safe, and with runners on first and second, pitching coach Matt Blake visited Loaisiga.

Loaisiga struck out Alfaro looking and Bryan De La Cruz grounded out to end it.

The Marlins were without manager Don Mattingly, who will miss at least the rest of the series after testing positive for COVID-19. Bench coach James Rowson managed in Mattingly’s place.

Odor gave the Yankees the lead for the first time in the second inning with a single to right and Gary Sanchez added an RBI double to make it 2-0.

Rizzo and Sanchez helped out German in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Sanchez picked off De La Cruz after signaling with Rizzo at first.

“Give him all the credit,’’ Rizzo said of Sanchez.

German, coming off a start at Boston in which he didn’t allow a hit until the eighth inning, kept Miami hitless until the fourth on Saturday, when Miguel Rojas led off with a single. Miami scored twice in the inning to tie the game, before the Yankees took the lead for good in the fifth.

The Yankees will go for the sweep Sunday.

“We got the midseason boost we needed,’’ Stanton said of the trades for Rizzo and Joey Gallo. “Now it’s a matter of putting it together. … It’s up to us to make it happen.”

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