Ben Rice’s Historic Day Sparks Yankees To Snap Four-Game Losing Streak

Rookie Ben Rice is making the most of his opportunity as an everyday first baseman for the New York Yankees. On Saturday, he made history at the plate.
Ben Rice (93) hits a solo home run. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Rice (93) hits a solo home run. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees needed to get their mojo back. They did that with a 14-4 rout over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. Rookie Ben Rice played a huge role in snapping the team's four-game losing streak.

Rice played 60 minor league games between AA and AAA this season, splitting time between catcher and first base. He was called up by the Yankees in mid-June when first baseman Anthony Rizzo went on the injured list with a fractured arm. 

The 25-year-old is hitting .294 in his first 17 games with the Yankees. Aaron Boone moved Rice up to the leadoff spot in the lineup on Thursday. Rice responded by hitting his first big league home run. On Saturday, he continued to meet the moment.

Ben Rice Was Cooking in 14-4 Victory Over Red Sox

The struggling Yankees came into Saturday’s game with a 2-8 record in their last 10 games. Rice gave the team exactly the start they needed when he started the game with a home run. But that wasn't the only noise off his bat of the afternoon.

Rice went 3-for-5 with seven RBIs on the day. All three hits were home runs, two of which were 3-run homers. His RBIs made up half of the Yankees’ 14 runs.

Making history, Rice became the first Yankees rookie ever to hit three home runs in a game. His big day warranted some recognition.

Rice's teammates guided the rookie on where to take his first curtain call at Yankee Stadium. In a game against Boston, it was a special moment for Rice, who grew up in Massachusetts as a Yankees fan. 

Rice has made his case to continue playing first base once Rizzo returns from the injured list. In his last seven games, Rice is hitting .360 with 11 RBI. With how starved the Yankees are for quality at-bats lately, Rice’s surge has given fans something to cheer about.

In addition to Rice’s big at-bats, his teammates got in on the action in the explosive win. Looking to avenge a brutal extra-inning loss on Friday night, the Yankees came to life on Saturday.

DJ LeMahieu and Alex Verdugo each contributed two RBIs. Verdugo launched a two-run home run against his former team. Oswaldo Cabrera went 2-for-2 with two singles, a sac fly, and a sac bunt.

Still looking to find his groove since returning from the injured list, Gerrit Cole pitched 4.1 innings with eight strikeouts and gave up four runs. Meanwhile, Tim Hill and Josh Maciejewski didn’t allow a run out of the bullpen.

While Saturday’s win doesn’t erase how poorly the Yankees have played in the past few weeks, it’s hopefully the start of a better stretch. The Yankees will look for their first series win in over three weeks on Sunday night, as they close out the three-game set against the Red Sox.