About 4 minutes reading time.

Soto, Judge and Stanton give Yankees first teammates trio of season with double-digit homers

 The Associated Press  |    May 18th, 2024 6:29pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Soto stopped his slump with flair, joining Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge to make the New York Yankees the first team this season with a trio of double-digit home run hitters.

“It tells how much damage we can do,” Soto said after his first multihomer game for New York powered the Yankees over the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Saturday for their first six-game winning streak since September 2022.

A day after his batting average briefly dipped below .300, Soto went 4 for 4 with a walk. He is hitting .317 with 11 homers, 37 RBIs and a .975 OPS, recovering from a 3-for-25 slide during a six-game road trip.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone noticed a change with some hard-hit balls in Friday night’s series opener.

“I could just see his body language,” Boone said. “Just really locked in today, all the way ’til the end there. So just one of those days that Juan’s capable of.”

Soto tied the score in the first inning with a 417-foot drive deep into the right-field bleachers off Brad Keller, had an RBI single in the second and hit another solo shot in the fifth with a 437-footer deeper into the right-field bleachers. It was the 18th multihomer game for Soto.

“There’s a consistency of what he does and a confidence to what he’s doing,” Boone said. “He has a real good understanding of himself and hitting and knows the things that he wants to work on.”

Stanton and Jose Trevino also homered for the Yankees, who emerged from the game leading the major leagues with 66 long balls. Aaron Judge has 12 homers, recovering from a slow start, and Stanton has 11.

Their offense has propelled New York to 12 wins in 14 games. The Yankees boosted their record to an AL-best 32-15 despite ace Gerrit Cole missing at least the first two months of the season with an elbow injury.

New York’s pitchers lead the major leagues with a 2.83 ERA. Rookie Luis Gil struck out a career-high 14 over six innings against the White Sox, winning his fourth straight start and fifth consecutive decision.

“With those three guys hitting the ball well, swinging the bat well, and having those starters doing what they’ve been doing, I think it’s just more than enough to win games,” Soto said, referring to himself, Judge and Stanton.

A three-time All-Star acquired by the Yankees from San Diego in December, the 25-year-old already has become a fan favorite. New York owner Hal Steinbrenner said this week he was open to in-season negotiations on a long-term contract for Soto, who can become a free agent after the World Series.

“It’s been great this past month-and-a-half,” Soto said. “The fan base, teammates, everything has been going in a good way.”

Soto was on the field Friday for batting practice after conferring with coaches and watching video.

“Definitely working on my swing, try to find that feeling again where I was hitting the ball in the first month and getting that feeling back and just get that confidence back,” he said. “You got to try everything that you have to to help yourself. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

Soto had just a single putout in right field on an afternoon Gil and relievers struck out 16 batters. He’s not an advocate of Crash Davis, the “Field of Dreams” catcher who told pitcher Nuke LaLoosh: “Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls — it’s more democratic.”

“Hell no. You want to strike out all the guys, I’m more than happy to see that,” Soto said.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

author avatar
The Associated Press