October 9, 2020 | 3:43am
After a regular season in which he led the majors with 22 home runs, Luke Voit hadn’t gone deep in the postseason until Thursday night, when he hit one out to lead off the bottom of the second inning of the Yankees’ 5-1 win over the Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS.
“It’s the playoffs and I’d been a little too aggressive,’’ Voit said after the first playoff homer of his career.
His blast, which traveled 453 feet at Petco Park in San Diego, gave the Yankees an early lead and helped extend their season.
“It felt great to get my first one in the postseason and it definitely felt good to hit one of those you know right away,’’ Voit said. “We needed that to get a little fiery, to get the boys going.”
Voit said he wanted to be the one who started it.
“I knew I had to step up,’’ Voit said. “I’d been pretty dreadful this series.”
He entered Thursday with just one hit in the ALDS and was particularly bothered by a three-strikeout showing in a Game 2 loss.
But he was encouraged by how he swung the bat in Game 3 on Wednesday, despite not getting results.
“I hit three balls hard and just missed a homer,’’ Voit said. “I just missed another homer [Thursday]. I had to get myself in better counts.”
It paid off against Tampa Bay opener Ryan Thompson, when Voit crushed a 1-0 slider as the Yankees went on to score a pair of runs in the second.
“That big blow early was big,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.