Juan Soto 3-Run BLAST Propels Yanks! NY 5 Tampa 3

Juan Soto hit a 3-run BLAST into the Upper Deck in right field in the 8th inning to propel the Yanks to another late inning, come-from-behind win — 5-3 over Tampa on a cold Friday night in the Bronx.

The Yanks went into the bottom of the 7th trailing 1-0, but rallied for a run on a couple of Tampa errors to tie it, and went ahead 2-1 on an RBI single by Anthony Volpe. Juan Soto then hit a 3-run BLAST to make it 5-1 NY, as Yankee fans chanted “MVP!, MVP!”

The Yanks needed every bit of that lead as Ian Hamilton allowed 2 runs in the 8th, and Clay Holmes invited everyone onto his Rollercoaster Ride in the 9th — a line drive double play — Volpe to Gleyber Torres at 2nd — ending the ride.

Earlier, Clarke Schmidt rope-a-doped the Tampa lineup with a shutout into the 6th, escaping trouble with strikeouts or long fly balls to the wall in right, before allowing a solo homer in the 6th.

“It was tough tonite; tough night — cold night; windy,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Clarke gave us a great opportunity, holding them down. And then Dennis Santana coming in and really bridging the gap to the back there, keeping it at bay. And then obviously the big swing by Juan.”

NY improves to 14-6. Tampa, which has had most of its starting rotation decimated by injury, falls to 11-10.

1. Schmidt Rope-a-Dopes Tampa with K’s & Fly Balls

Clarke Schmidt pitched great — and not so great at the same time. He got into trouble and then got out of it, striking out guys and allowing fly balls to the wall in right.

  • In the 1st inning, he allowed a 1-out single and hit Richie Palacios with a pitch, but got out of the minor jam with a double play.
  • In the 2nd, he allowed consecutive singles to lead off the inning, but then struck out 3 straight batters (including Ben Rortvedt to end it).

  • In the 3rd, he struck out the first 2 batters, then got the final out on a Long Fly ball to the right field wall by Palacios that Juan Soto made a terrific catch on.

  • In the 4th, Schmidt again allowed a leadoff single, then got a strikeout, then got two Long Fly balls to centerfield for outs. Phew!
  • In the 5th, Schmidt again allowed a leadoff single, and then again got a strikeout (Ben Rortvedt), and two groundouts to end the inning.
  • In the 6th, Palacios led off with a solo homer to right for a 1-0 Tampa lead. Schmidt got an easy fly, but a grounder to 3rd popped out of Oswaldo Cabrera‘s glove for a single and Schmidt was gone at 102 pitches.

Dennis Santana came in and got pop out, strike out to end the 6th.

Schmidt’s line: 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 7 K’s, 0 walks. He lowers his ERA to 3.15.

2. Alexander Shuts Out NY Into 6th

Meanwhile, Tyler Alexander, a 29-year-old 6’2 lefty, was shutting out the Yanks on 2 hits into the 6th. Alexander is no relation to former Yankee Doyle Alexander. Tyler spent the last 5 years with Detroit, the team whose system he came up through.

Alexander left after getting lefty Juan Soto for the 1st out of the 6th — he was at 74 pitches. Shawn Armstrong came in and allowed a single to Aaron Judge, but then got the next 2 batters.

3. Santana Gets It to the Back End

After getting the last 2 outs of the 6th, Dennis Santana allowed a leadoff single in the 7th to Jose Caballero but then picked him off 1st base.

Santana then allowed an infield single to Ben Rortvedt but got Yandy Diaz to hit into a double play.

4. Volpe Go-Ahead RBI Hit & Soto BLAST in 7th

The Yanks had nothing going. Until Chris Devenski came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th. And it wasn’t all his fault.

Devenski struck out Gleyber Torres to start the inning, but Alex Verdugo hit a grounder to 2nd that went off the glove of Tampa 2nd baseman Curtis Mead for an error.

Jose Trevino worked a walk, and Oswaldo Cabrera hit a sharp grounder past 1st baseman Yandy Diaz and into right field for a run. It was ruled an error on Diaz.

Anthony Volpe then looped a single into left center for an RBI and 2-1 Yankee lead!

Up stepped Juan Soto, who hit an absolute BOMB into the upper deck in right field for 3 runs and a 5-1 Yankee lead as Yankee Stadium Exploded and “MVP! MVP!” chants started.

5. Hamilton Trouble

Ian Hamilton got into immediate trouble in the top of the 8th — a leadoff walk, a double by Palacios, and a single to right by Paredes for 2 runs made it 5-3 with still nobody out.

Hamilton then got two hard-hit lineouts (by Harold Ramirez and Amed Rosario), allowed a single to Curtis Mead to put 1st and 3rd — before getting a groundout to end the inning. PHEW.

6. Holmes Rollercoaster

And then to the 9th when Clay Holmes invited all Yankee fans onto his Rollercoaster Ride.

Ben Rortvedt led off with a single, and Yandy Diaz singled and here we go again. Top of the first incline.

Randy Arozarena hit a pop up behind 2nd base, but Anthony Volpe and Gleyber Torres each thought the other one had it — Aaron Judge came sprinting in at the last second and dove to try and catch the ball. It seemed like he had but he didn’t — the ball rolling under his body.

The runner at 2nd had to hold up — Gleyber picked up the ball and threw him out at 3rd. PHEW.

Tampa manager Kevin Cash complained to the umps that the umps had called the batter out on the Judge apparent catch, and caused the Tampa runners to get confused.

With 1 out, Palacios hit a line drive — right at Volpe at shortstop who flipped to Gleyber at 2nd for the double-off double play and the old ballgame.


  • The Yankees only got 5 hits — Aaron Judge went 1-3 with a walk, Anthony Volpe went 1-3, Jose Trevino went 1-3, Oswaldo Cabrera went 1-3, and Juan Soto went 1-4.
  • Gleyber Torres continues to slump at the plate — he went 0-4 and struck out 3 times.

The Boxscore


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