Earlier this week, the New York Yankees made a drastic lineup decision by benching Anthony Rizzo. The veteran first baseman is getting some time off after a brutal stretch in the hopes that he can shake off his struggles and bounce back.

He took a big step toward doing so on Thursday, when he hit a home run in the eighth inning of the Yankees' 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. It was Rizzo's first home run in more than a month – he last went deep against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 10.

After the game, Rizzo talked about snapping his drought, via the YES Network.

Said the Yankees first baseman, “Definitely feels good to do that and get us going there.”

When asked if getting a couple of good swings like he had on Thursday can help him turnaround his season, Rizzo replied, “Yeah, I hope so. Definitely feel like I'm in a better spot. I've been feeling that. So, just one day at a time and one at-bat at a time.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke about benching Rizzo at the beginning of the week.

“There’s no question over the last two, three weeks especially, it’s been a little bit of a struggle,” Boone said. “When you’re going through it and making little adjustments, they don’t always take right away. You go out there and, ‘Oh, that adjustment didn’t take right away.’ Maybe you revert back to something different. You break down some of the work, especially when you’ve been a successful player like Anthony has been throughout his career. It’s sometimes a process. Sometimes you have to get these small little gains along the way to get you where you need to go and sometimes being patient with that — which is hard when you’re going through it as a player — you got to have that (patience) a little bit.”

Anthony Rizzo slumping as Yankees succeeding

Rizzo slowing down in his age-34 season isn't entirely surprising but his eye-opening lack of production at the plate has left the Yankees with no choice but to look for other lineup options. At the moment, they’re going with DJ LeMahieu at first base while Oswaldo Cabrera moves in at third.

Coming off of a month where he posted a slash line of .240/.302/.323, Rizzo got off to a horrendous start in June. He tallied one hit (a double) and one walk across his first 30 plate appearances. That’s it. He struck out three times and grounded into a double play. It was definitely time for a little time off.

Rizzo went through a big slump last season as well, but that was because the Yankees failed to correctly diagnose a concussion, allowing him to play through it while it just got worse. He hasn’t had any severe injury issues this season, but his struggles have continued.

He's on pace to play his worst full MLB season if things don’t eventually shape up. Hopefully, Thursday's home run is a sign of things to come.