Luke Voit backs up words with huge night to help Yankees top Twins

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Luke Voit stated his impassioned case for regular playing time with his mouth earlier this week.

Now his bat is talking even louder.

Voit provided a deep breath in a rare Yankees laugher Friday night, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and falling a triple short of the cycle on the way to a 10-2 win over the Twins in The Bronx.

The Yankees extended their season-high winning streak to eight games, but this one was unlike the others in that there was no sweating out the final innings. It was the first time in 13 wins they won a game by more than three runs.

Nestor Cortes Jr., pitching with a 4-0 lead after the first inning, delivered a career-high seven strong innings of two-run ball to send the Yankees to their 20th win in their past 25 games

After his big night, Voit is batting 11-for-21 (.524) with three home runs and 11 RBIs over his last six games. It is the hottest stretch of his injury-marred season and comes at a time when he is fighting for playing time after the Yankees traded for Anthony Rizzo during Voit’s most recent stint on the injured list.

Tuesday, on the eve of both first basemen being on the active roster at the same time, Voit made his plea for consistent playing time.

Luke Voit drove in four runs to help the Yankees beat the Twins on Friday night.
Corey Sipkin

“I’m not going down,” Voit said. “I want to play and I deserve to play just as much as [Rizzo] does.”

Voit sat out Wednesday’s game as Rizzo returned from the COVID-19 IL but served as the DH on Thursday and then started at first base Friday, with Rizzo getting the night off.

The 2020 home run champion got the Yankees going in the first inning with some help from Twins starter Charlie Barnes, who issued two walks and hit a batter to load the bases. Voit came up and ripped a two-run single for the 2-0 lead.

One out and a Gary Sanchez infield single later, Andrew Velazquez walked with the bases loaded to force in another run. Brett Gardner then pushed the lead to 4-0 with a single through the left side, but the rally stopped there as left fielder Rob Refnsyder threw Sanchez out at the plate to end the inning.

The Yankees padded their lead in the second inning on Aaron Judge’s two-run home run to right field, which got out in a hurry for the 6-0 lead.

Cortes, meanwhile, didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning, when the Twins loaded the bases with two outs. But Cortes worked out of the jam, getting Willians Astudillo to fly out to end the inning.

Voit came through again in the fourth inning, drilling an RBI ground-rule double to left-center field to make it 7-0.

Josh Donaldson, the target of heavy booing in his first two games in The Bronx since calling out Gerrit Cole for his decreased spin rates shortly after MLB’s crackdown on sticky stuff, got the Twins on the board with a two-run homer in the sixth.

But Voit added a solo home run in the seventh before LeMahieu chipped in a two-run homer in the eighth.

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