Aaron Hicks had a much better night Friday at Yankee Stadium than the last time he started there.
Hicks homered, the 100th of his career, and had an RBI single in a 5-4 win over the Red Sox.
It was his first start in The Bronx since he was pulled from the game on Sept. 9 after a pair of miscues in left field that led to him being booed.
In his previous three games, all on the road, Hicks was 5-for-12 with a homer, a double and five strikeouts.
Then he dealt with an illness, but manager Aaron Boone said he liked switch-hitting Hicks against Boston lefty Rich Hill.
“He delivered,” Boone said. “He hit that offspeed pitch [out] and then had another big hit.”
“It means a lot,” Hicks said of the two hits. “I’m trying to go out there and help the team win.”
A night after Clay Holmes pitched the final two innings in a close win, Jonathan Loaisiga did the same Friday. Don’t expect that to change. Boone said “it could be a little bit of everyone” used as closer the rest of the way.
He mentioned Scott Effross, Lou Trivino and the injured Wandy Peralta as other options to close games the rest of the way — and also threw in Zack Britton, who has yet to pitch this season after he was activated Thursday following 2021 UCL surgery.
“It’s gonna be on a nightly basis,” Boone said.
Jameson Taillon made his statement for a spot in the Yankees’ postseason rotation with six scoreless innings Thursday night in a win over the Red Sox. Domingo German will get his shot on Saturday.
Frankie Montas is out with shoulder inflammation for the second time in less than two months, so there could be a starting role behind Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and, as long as he remains healthy, Luis Severino.
“These next couple weeks are important here in how we line things up with different roles and guys fighting to see what we have,” Boone said when asked about the rotation. “We’re just trying to put guys in position to try to be successful and try to create difficult decisions for playoff rosters or who’s pitching certain games.”
Montas’ time in The Bronx has so far been a disaster, as he has pitched to a 6.35 ERA in eight outings before hitting the IL following another cortisone shot.
Taillon has pitched somewhat better of late, but still has a 4.86 ERA in his last 17 starts after beginning the season with a 2.30 ERA through 10 outings.
German was hit fairly hard in his first two outings after coming back from right shoulder impingement in July, but he had a 2.47 ERA in his previous eight starts before being bumped to the bullpen when Severino returned.
But German reentered the picture with the loss of Montas.
German’s experience pitching out of the bullpen could be a factor in the decision and neither has experience pitching in the postseason.
With the Yankees in the midst of nine days without a day off, they rested Anthony Rizzo Friday.
The first baseman missed more than two weeks with lower back tightness that required an epidural, which led to headaches that delayed his return.
After going 4-for-11 with a pair of extra-base hits in his first two games back from the IL, Rizzo was hitless in eight at-bats with four strikeouts in his previous two games.
Boone said Rizzo was “doing really well” physically, but with Hill on the mound for Boston and right-handers due to pitch the next two days, Friday made the most sense.
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