The Yankees' Anthony Rizzo runs up the first base line as...

The Yankees' Anthony Rizzo runs up the first base line as he watches his home run against the Astros during the sixth inning of a game on June 30 in Houston. Credit: AP/David J. Phillip

PITTSBURGH – Anthony Rizzo, though out of the lineup a second straight game with the lower back stiffness that made him a late scratch on Tuesday, showed significant improvement when he arrived at the ballpark Wednesday afternoon.

“Doing better today,” Aaron Boone said. “Again, this is kind of something he’s talked about he’s had, it seems like once a year where it’s just this day-to-day thing.. Improvements today. Obviously, not good enough to be in there, but hopefully continue to improve and we’ll see where we’re at at game time and then tomorrow and into the weekend.”

Boone said “no” when asked if he saw using Rizzo at any point during Wednesday night’s game but added, “I’m sure he’s going to be doing hours of treatment [before the game], so we’ll see where we’re at.”

Rizzo entered Wednesday hitting .223 but with an .843 OPS in 77 games in large part because of his 22 homers, second on the team to Aaron Judge’s 29. Rizzo’s 52 RBIs rank third on the team behind Judge’s 60 and Giancarlo Stanton’s 53.

That’s one way to do it

The Yankees have been trying to find ways to get Matt Carpenter’s hot bat into the lineup a bit more and Wednesday brought a different approach – starting the veteran in right, his first start in the outfield since 2013 when he was with the Cardinals.

“He’s been so impactful when he’s been in there, feel like this is a game to try it,” Boone said. “Smaller rightfield out there [at PNC Park] and I know he’s looking to getting out there and doing it. Want to see what we have out there and see if it is something from time to time that we could do.”

Castro returns

Righthanded reliever Miguel Castro returned to the club Wednesday in time for that night’s game after missing four days on paternity leave in his native Dominican Republic. Righthander Ryan Weber was designated for assignment as the corresponding roster move. The 27-year-old Castro is 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA in 30 games, striking out 27 and walking 12 in 25 2/3 innings.

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