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May 8, 2024 7:57 am

Juan Soto, Yankees look to keep hits coming against falling Astros

juan soto

New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto produced his fourth three-hit game this season on Tuesday, but after carrying the club offensively in the opening weeks, Soto has of late received ample help.

The Yankees routed the visiting Houston Astros 10-3 in the opener of a three-game series that continues Wednesday, with Soto playing a supporting role in the dismantling. He recorded three singles and scored a pair of runs, an effort bolstered by a three-hit game from left fielder Alex Verdugo, who homered and drove in four. Anthony Volpe also homered and produced three RBIs.

The Yankees have won five of their past six games, with their lineup depth at the forefront of that success.

“It takes every single guy to win a ballgame,” said Soto, who finished 3-for-4. “I think we’ve been doing that lately and we’ve been feeling great, and I hope we can keep that all the way until the end.”

Left-hander Carlos Rodon (2-2, 3.68 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Yankees on Wednesday. He allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on eight hits — including three home runs — with six strikeouts over four innings in a 7-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Rodon had not allowed more than three runs in all six of his previous starts.

Rodon is 3-0 with a 2.47 ERA over 10 career starts against the Astros. He did not factor into the decision of the Yankees’ 7-1 road victory over Houston on March 29 after allowing one run on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.

Rookie right-hander Spencer Arrighetti (0-3, 8.27) has the starting assignment for the Astros. Arrighetti recorded the best start of his young career against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts over a season-high 5 2/3 innings. He did not factor into the decision of an 8-2 victory.

Arrighetti, who made his big league debut on April 10 against the Kansas City Royals, will make his first career appearance against the Yankees.

After winning back-to-back series against the Colorado Rockies and Guardians and the opener of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners, the Astros have dropped three consecutive games and squandered their first bit of positive momentum.

Houston dropped to 11 games under .500 with the loss to the Yankees and is seven games in the loss column behind the Mariners and Texas Rangers. While the Astros are reclaiming some of the health that eluded them during the first month of the season, their postseason odds will continue to dwindle as long as they are idling near the bottom of the division standings.

Yet, when asked on MLB Network if he could see a scenario where the Astros punt on this season and sell at the trade deadline, Astros general manager Dana Brown rebuffed that idea.

“No. No, I can’t envision that,” Brown said. “I think this ballclub is too good. We have a really good rotation, we have a really good bullpen. Our bats are off to a little bit of a slow start. I think the production is coming. I think our guys are true professionals, they’re good players. I can’t predict any scenario where we would become sellers. I think the team is too good.

“If guys start to turn it more, good things will happen.”

–Field Level Media

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