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Juan Soto Lifts New York Yankees As They Secure A Win Against Houston Astros

Juan Soto (Via MLB)

Juan Soto had three hits, culminating in an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning that lifted the New York Yankees to a 4-3 win on Sunday, completing a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros to open the season.

With the score tied at 3-3, Gleyber Torres singled off closer Josh Hader (0-1) with two outs in the ninth and stole second base. Soto then delivered a line drive single to left field.

“It just put a bow on the series of what we saw in his at-bats,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Soto batted .529 (9-for-17) with four RBIs in his first games with the Yankees after his trade from San Diego, helping New York achieve its first 4-0 start since 2003 and only its fourth since 1950.

New York Yankees (Via MLB)

“That’s the kind of start I wanted,” Soto said with a laugh. “I grinded really hard this offseason and in spring training to be successful in the beginning of the season.”

The Astros had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the ninth against Clay Holmes. Jeremy Pena and pinch hitter Victor Caratini singled, and Jose Altuve hit a hard grounder that third baseman Jon Berti snagged with a dive before scrambling to third for a forceout.

Yordan Alvarez hit a drive just inches foul of the left-field line and followed with a fly ball that advanced pinch runner Mauricio Dubon to third. Alex Verdugo made a sliding catch in left field on a ball hit by Kyle Tucker to end the game, giving Holmes his third save.

“It’s just a lot of fun watching these guys continue to compete, and it’s happening on both sides of the ball,” Boone said.

Nick Burdi (1-0) got the last two outs of the eighth for his first big league win since April 17, 2019, for Pittsburgh against Detroit. Yankees relievers pitched 15⅓ scoreless innings in the series.

Altuve homered and doubled for the Astros, who are 0-4 for the first time since dropping their first five games in 2011. Houston has lost nine straight home games dating back to last year, including the playoffs, and has lost seven consecutive games to the Yankees.

Juan Soto (Via MLB)

“I like the fight,” first-year manager Joe Espada said. “That’s what it’s all about. Give yourself a chance. You fight to the last out of the game and if you do that you’re going to find yourself in a good spot to win games.”

The Astros trailed by two when Altuve sparked a rally in the sixth with a double to left field. Tucker’s double with one out in the inning scored Altuve to cut the lead to 3-2 and chase Clarke Schmidt.

Jonathan Loaisiga took over, and Yainer Diaz’s RBI single with two outs tied the game at 3-3.

Giancarlo Stanton doubled in the second inning and scored on Jose Trevino’s single. Altuve’s homer tied the score in the third. Anthony Rizzo doubled to start the fourth and scored on Berti’s single for a 2-1 lead, and Aaron Judge hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Schmidt allowed three runs and seven hits in 5⅓ innings.

“Obviously you don’t play playoff games in March, but this was a big-time series and a big-time sweep and a really good way to start the season,” Schmidt said.

Houston starter J.P. France gave up three runs and six hits in 5⅔ innings.

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