Yankees designated hitter Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases on his...

Yankees designated hitter Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases on his three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ST. LOUIS — Anthony Rizzo apparently is dinged up again.

The first baseman, initially in the Yankees’ starting lineup at first base and batting third Friday night, was scratched less than an hour before first pitch because of lower-back tightness.

Rizzo missed four games in early July because of back spasms, a condition he said rears its head at least once a season.

“He didn’t feel like last time, just felt like he didn’t want to push through,’’ Aaron Boone said. “He felt something a little bit in batting practice, so we’ll see what we have . . . I think last time, it was very similar to what he’s had sometimes in the past where he knew it was going to be a few days. He didn’t seem to think that was the case when he came in right before. But again, we’ll see what we have.”

Rizzo was hitting .227 but with 27 homers — second-most on the team behind Aaron Judge’s 43 — and an .858 OPS. He had hit five homers in his previous eight games and reached base in 22 of his previous 23 starts.

No hard feelings

Matt Carpenter, a three-time All-Star with the Cardinals, made his return to St. Louis on Friday, and it was all positive.

Carpenter, chosen by St. Louis in the 13th round of the 2009 draft, received a loud ovation upon being introduced to the sellout crowd at Busch Stadium. He singled in the first inning to help set up a two-out RBI double by Josh Donaldson, singled in the third to set up Donaldson’s RBI single and fell just short of a two-run homer in the seventh.

“A lot of emotions,’’ he said of the warm greeting he was given. “Spent a lot of time here and have a lot of great memories and played a lot of games in this ballpark. Definitely a special moment.”

Carpenter, who played 11 big-league seasons with St. Louis from 2011-21, said before the game: “I was telling somebody earlier, this will be the first three games since 2009 that I have not pulled for the St. Louis Cardinals to win. All season, any time we’re not playing, I’m tuned in watching the guys and checking every boxscore, pulling for them and legitimately wanting them to win. This will be the first three that that’s not the case. And as soon as we leave town, I’ll go right back to being the same way. So that’s weird. It’s going to be weird competing against them, but that’s what I’m here to do, what we’re here to do.”

Carpenter, 36, saw his time in St. Louis come to an end after the 2021 season, a year in which he lost his swing, hitting .169 with three homers and a .581 OPS in 130 games. During the COVID-shortened 60-game season of 2020, he hit .186 with four homers and a .640 OPS in 50 games.

But he fixed his swing in the offseason and has been gold for the Yankees since signing with them May 26. Carpenter entered Friday’s game with 15 homers, 36 RBIs and a .336/.437/.832 slash line in 31 games as a starter.

“I don’t want to get too emotional because I do care so much about this place,” said Carpenter, who eventually did get emotional during his pregame meeting with local media here. “But I still have to find a way to get the job done as a player when I go on the field.”  

Extra bases

Andrew Benintendi, 1-for-23 as a Yankee to that point, doubled in the eighth. Aaron Hicks went 0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 29 at-bats.

Minor-leaguer suspended

Utilityman Derek Dietrich, currently with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for 1,4-dimethylpentylamine (DMPA), a stimulant, according to Major League Baseball.

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