NEW YORK — Luke Voit's candid comments earlier this week were the talk of the town.
The slugger confidently stated that he deserves as much playing time as Anthony Rizzo, New York's newest first baseman that was acquired prior to last month's trade deadline.
On Friday, Voit continued to back up those words with his play between the lines, racking up four hits and mashing his third home run in six days to carry New York to a blowout victory over the Twins.
Getting the start at first with a left-hander on the mound, Voit took full advantage of the matchup and then some. The slugger went 4-for-5 in the 10-2 romp, driving in four runs and scoring twice. Voit is now hitting .500 (11-for-22) with 11 RBI, seven runs scored and three long balls since his three-hit performance in Chicago on Sunday.
Missing quite a bit of time while making three separate stints on the injured list this season, Voit has made it clear that he understands the move to bring in more talent at his position. That doesn't mean he's ready to be displaced.
"I've been a great player for this organization for last three years. I'm not going down. I want to play," Voit said Tuesday. "I know it's gonna be tough with Rizzo, but I deserve to play just as much as he does."
With the way he's been playing this week, manager Aaron Boone would be silly to take his bat out of the lineup. The key is staying healthy and maintaining this rhythm at the plate.
It didn't take long on Friday night for Voit to get in on the action offensively. Voit ripped an RBI single in the first inning. After another single in the second, the first baseman thwacked a ground-rule double to the warning track in left-center field, driving home New York's seventh run of the night.
The game was already decided in the seventh frame when Voit stepped up to the plate for the fourth time, but No. 59 wasn't done. He crushed a 408-foot bomb into the Yankees' bullpen, sizzling off his bat at 107.6 mph.
Boone agreed after the game that Voit's at-bat in the seventh, working the count against right-hander Kyle Barraclough and driving a ball to the opposite field, was reminiscent of the Voit that led all of baseball with 22 homers last year.
The Twins clearly couldn't cool Voit down on Friday night, so he took the liberty to do it himself with a celebration in the dugout.
The likeliest solution to keeping Voit's bat in the lineup would be to put Rizzo (the superior defender) at first base and play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield, opening up the designated hitter spot for Voit. That won't happen every game, but keeping those three names all in the order all at once is a dangerous combination.
As the Yankees draw closer to the final month of the regular season, Voit isn't the only player that's heating up. New York is surging with contributions on both sides of the ball, winning eight games in a row while crawling closer to the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the standings.
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