The Yankees were off to a very slow start on Tuesday night in Oakland. They didn't notch a hit until Gleyber Torres finally got a single in the sixth inning. And the only reason they tied the game at one in the seventh was due to a walk with the bases loaded.
But Luke Voit changed all that to lead off the eighth inning.
Facing Fernando Rodney, Voit took an 0-1 changeup deep to left and over the wall to jolt the Yankees' offense to a 5-1 victory.
The minute the ball left the bat, Voit knew it was headed for the seats, and his emotions went wild. He pointed toward the bench and was amped as he rounded the bases to take the 2-1 lead.
"It was like a playoff game," he told The Post's George A. King III. "It's fun to have emotions."
With the solo jack, Voit has now belted seven homers in his last 12 games. And this one brought about more insurance for the Yankees, with Aaron Hicks hitting an RBI single in the eighth to make it a 3-1 game. And Adeiny Hechavarria homered with Brett Gardner collecting and RBI in the ninth for the eventual 5-1 win.
"It's hard to play against a great team," manager Aaron Boone said. "You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get."
When the Yankees traded Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos for Voit and some international bonus pool money from the Cardinals, it was likely the cash that was believed to be the headliner. Instead of becoming bench/depth filler, Voit, complete with a Sammy Sosa hop and contagious exuberance, has quickly blossomed into a lethal part of the Yankees' offense.
Voit, 27, has been on fire of late, and in the process has taken over the Yankees' first base job from struggling incumbent Greg Bird. Voit resembles a behemoth meant solely for hitting home runs (which he has done at every level), but he's proven to be an adept hitter, as he sports a career .288 average in just under 2,300 minor-league plate appearances.
It is entirely possible that Voit is a late bloomer, one that was not provided an extended chance in a major league setting with the Cardinals because of its organizational depth at the position. Voit is getting exactly that opportunity with the Yankees and he's producing clutch hits, while energizing the dugout in the midst of a postseason chase.