Luke Voit of the Yankees celebrates his fifth-inning two-run single...

Luke Voit of the Yankees celebrates his fifth-inning two-run single against the Red Sox in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

After driving in the go-ahead runs in both ends of the Yankees’ doubleheader sweep of the Red Sox on Tuesday, Luke Voit made it clear he’s not ready to give up his job to Anthony Rizzo, who is close to returning from the COVID-19 injured list.

"I was top-10 MVP last year and I've been a great player for this organization for the last three years," Voit said. "I'm not going down. I want to play, obviously. I know it's going to be tougher with Rizzo, but I deserve to play just as much as he does. I led the league in home runs last year and I feel really good again . . . I hope [manager Aaron Boone] can do whatever he can to try to give me some consistent at-bats."

But how do you really feel, Luke?

Voit’s feisty comments came after he hit a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 5-3 win in Game 1 and a solo homer in the second inning for the first run in the Yankees’ 2-0 win in Game 2.

And his words came after Rizzo hit the field on Tuesday morning for the first time since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Aug. 7.

"I was really kind of knocked out for a solid six, seven days," Rizzo said. "But today, doing all this feels a lot better than I expected."

Rizzo could be activated as soon as Wednesday. As a cancer survivor, he had to undergo additional cardiac testing before being cleared to return to the field. He took those tests on Monday.

Rizzo said he feared he had COVID when he felt run down and then lost his sense of taste and smell after a game on Aug. 7. A test confirmed it and he was placed on the COVID IL.

"I felt really tired and achy, but I was coming off of an insane week of travel and emotion," he said. "After the game, I was eating and I couldn’t really taste or smell, so that’s when I got tested."

After being acquired from the Cubs on July 30, Rizzo started off his Yankees career with a bang. He went 8-for-20 with three homers, six RBIs and four walks in his first six games and is 9-for-32 (.281) overall.

When Rizzo is ready, Boone could DH Voit and play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield. But that would require Aaron Judge to play a lot of center.

Kluber update

Corey Kluber (shoulder) pitched three innings-plus for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Worcester in a rehab outing. He threw 56 pitches and was charged with three runs. Kluber gave up two hits, walked two and struck out four.


Severino update

Luis Severino (shoulder) will not throw this week after being scratched from a minor league rehab start on Friday with shoulder tightness and undergoing an MRI on Monday. But the righthander’s chances of pitching this season are not zero, Boone said.

"I’m not ready to go there at all yet," Boone said.

The Yankees will not reveal the results of the MRI until the images are evaluated for a second opinion. Severino has not pitched in a big-league game since the 2019 ALCS. He underwent Tommy John surgery and then had two setbacks during rehab stints, first a groin injury and now his shoulder.

Why Ridings?

The Yankees returned Long Island’s Stephen Ridings to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre late Monday night to make room on the roster for Jordan Montgomery, who was activated off the COVID IL to start Tuesday’s first game against the Red Sox.

Ridings, 27, had opened eyes in his first five big-league appearances with a 100-mph fastball, a 1.80 ERA and seven strikeouts in five innings. So why was he the one chosen to go down?

The answer is procedural.

Because Ridings originally was called up as a replacement player for a player who went on the COVID IL, he could be returned to Triple-A without being exposed to waivers and becoming available to be claimed by one of the other 29 teams.

The same was true of catcher Rob Brantly. He was returned to Triple-A late Monday to make room for Gary Sanchez, who also was activated off the COVID IL on Tuesday. Neither Ridings nor Brantly counts against the Yankees’ 40-man roster, which currently is full.

If the Yankees want to call up Ridings again, they will have to make room on the 40-man roster (unless he comes up again as a replacement for a new player who goes on the COVID IL, which the Yankees hope doesn’t happen).

So instead of Ridings, the Yankees kept righthander Brody Koerner, who has appeared in one game since being called up on Aug. 1 but is on the 40-man roster. They also kept Nick Nelson, who has an 8.79 ERA in 11 appearances. Thus, they get to keep all three pitchers in the organization.

Ridings grew up in Commack and attended St. Anthony’s.

The Yankees used the same calculus when they claimed outfielder Jonathan Davis off waivers from Toronto on Aug. 4 and returned outfielder Greg Allen to Triple-A, even though Allen had given the team a spark as a COVID fill-in. Because Allen was a COVID replacement player, the Yankees got to keep both players in the organization.

Trainer's room

Miguel Andujar, who has been out since July 7 with a left wrist sprain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday . . . Gio Urshela (hamstring) worked out on the field before Game 1 and said he is feeling "better, better."

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