Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo stays out with back tightness

SEATTLE — When Anthony Rizzo scratched his lower back before Friday’s game at St. Louis, he and Aaron Boone said they were confident it wasn’t as bad as the last time he had missed time with the injury.

But he missed more games this time around as he was dropped from the roster for a fifth consecutive game on Tuesday.

Asked about the spread, Boone said Tuesday ahead of the Yankees’ 1-0, 13-inning loss to the Mariners: “I’m just being very cautious. …I think it just got better faster last time. I don’t think it’s that bad.

Provided Rizzo doesn’t suffer any setbacks, Boone said: “I would expect him to be there [Wednesday]. He is doing very well. We just give it one more day.

After Wednesday’s game at T-Mobile Park, however, the Yankees will fly all night to Boston, where they open a Friday series against the Red Sox, so it remains to be seen how the guard handles the trip.

Anthony Rizo
Corey Sipkins

Giancarlo Stanton won’t be back for the next series in Boston, according to Boone.

“He could be with us, but I don’t think he will play,” Boone said.

Stanton may also need rehab before returning to the roster after being out since July 23 with left Achilles tendonitis.

Maybe this last stretch of Josh Donaldson is sustainable, at least for the next two weeks.

Josh Donaldson is hit by a pitch during the Yankees' loss.
Josh Donaldson is hit by a pitch during the Yankees’ loss.

The third baseman, who went 0-for-3 in Tuesday night’s loss to the Yankees, had a season-high four hits in Monday’s win over the Mariners, extending the hot streak he has known this month.

Since Aug. 1, Donaldson has entered Tuesday 10-for-26 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs, as well as four walks and eight strikeouts in seven games in August.

Over the course of his career, Donaldson has hit better in August than any other month (.997 OPS).

He said Monday his swing had improved over the past two weeks compared to the entire season, but his .405 hitting percentage was the lowest of his career.

The 36-year-old suffered right shoulder pain earlier this year in what was arguably his least productive season as a major leaguer.

Closer Clay Holmes, who pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday night, had allowed six runs in 2 ²/₃ innings in his previous three outings on Tuesday, but his struggles date back to July 12.

Prior to last night, the right-hander had appeared in nine games and allowed 10 earned runs in 8 ¹/₃ innings on 11 hits, eight walks and four pitched hits.

He also allowed at least one base runner in each of those outings.

Boone said he committed to using Holmes on Monday, as he hadn’t pitched since Friday. And Monday’s outing was only Holmes’ second in more than a week.

But the Yankees are also careful not to overwork Holmes, who pitched a career-high 70 innings last season and is 47 ²/₃ innings so far this season.

It was unrealistic to expect Holmes to maintain the numbers he put up in the first half, but the Yankees are also trying to figure out how best to use the right-hander now that they’ve added the right-handers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino and with Aroldis Chapman in the middle of his best streak since the opening month of the season.


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