The Yankees were done in by Juan Soto on Wednesday night as Washington’s 19-year-old left fielder homered twice and drove in four runs in New York’s 5-4 loss at Yankee Stadium.
“He’s been really good, obviously, since he came up and from where he started this year, to be here, there’s good reason,” Aaron Boone said. “And we got peek at it tonight. A couple of big swings that beat us ultimately.”
Soto began the season at Single-A Hagerstown, and was promoted to Single-A Potomac. Then it was off to Double-A Harrisburg, and after eight games he was called up to the majors. He has already homered five times in his first 20 games.
The Yankees stakes Sonny Gray to a 3-1 lead, and the right-hander retired the first two Nationals in the fourth. Daniel Murphy walked and Matt Adams singled, bringing up Soto who went the opposite way and homered to left.
“I thought it was a foul ball,” Gray said. “I was kind of watching the hitters reaction. I thought it was a foul ball and then I thought if it was fair that Gardy was going to be able to make a play, and then it just kept carrying, kept carrying.”
Gray gave up four runs in five innings. He needed 34 pitches to get out of a first inning where he allowed an early run.
“The thing is he’s so close to getting out of it there and a fly ball three-run homer and it kind of spoiled what I thought was a night where I thought he competed really well when it really wasn’t going his way,” Boone said.
Gleyber Torres tied the game with a home run in the fifth, but Soto gave Washington a 5-4 lead with a long blast in the seventh off Chasen Shreve. The 436-foot blast went over the New York bullpen.
“I didn’t do my job,” Shreve said. “We lost the game because of it.”
Soto is the youngest player to homer in the Bronx since Andruw Jones went deep in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series. Jones homered off Andy Pettitte and Brian Boehringer that night. The last younger player to homer in a regular season game in the Bronx was Ken Griffey Jr. who hit a pair off Jimmy Jones (extra credit if you knew that) on May 30, 1989.
Shreve explained the scouting report on Soto.
“He’s young,” Shreve said. “He’s going to swing for sure. Just play it safe down and away, stick to my strengths, splitters down and locate my heater, which I didn’t do.”
The Yankees have constantly won because of their young talent. This time it was a teenager that beat them.