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Juan Soto’s 3-run blast lifts Yankees to series-opening win over Rays

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Juan Soto crushed a 409-foot three-run home run to cap off a five-run seventh inning, leading the New York Yankees (14-6) to a 5-3 series-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Rays (11-10) on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

New York’s offense was shut down for the first six innings but did damage against Tampa Bay’s bullpen, scoring all five of its runs. The Yankees tied the game on a fielding error and grabbed the lead on Anthony Volpe’s run-scoring single before Soto destroyed a 92 mph fastball into the second deck in right field.

Clarke Schmidt surrendered one run on seven hits over 5.1 innings while striking out seven. Dennis Santana came on in relief of Schmidt and fired 1.2 scoreless, earning his first win as a Yankee. Ian Hamilton struggled, allowing a pair of runs. Clay Holmes notched his eighth save of the season despite giving up a couple of hits.

Box Score

Nestor Cortes will take the mound on Saturday as the Yankees look to win the first two games of this three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.