World Baseball Classic

Juan Soto comes through as Yankees sweep Tigers

Juan Soto comes through as Yankees sweep Tigers

Juan Soto's bases-clearing double with one out turned a seventh-inning tie into a three-run lead as the Yankees won the 5-2 series finale and swept the Detroit Tigers after an eighth-inning rain delay called the game.

Four takeaways from Sunday's game

1. In case anyone needed another example of Soto's clutch gene, he made his latest case with what turned out to be New York's game-winning play. After Detroit (18-16) tied the score at 2-2 in the top half, the Yankees (23-13) loaded the bases and Soto came through.

Soto worked a 2-1 count and roped Andrew Chafin's 91 mph sinker down the right-field line, cashing in on New York's big opportunity and teeing up the final two frames for the bullpen to take care of business. The Yankees got Soto for these types of moments, and he continues to make his presence felt in them while slashing .316/.421/.559 with eight home runs and 28 RBI through 36 games.

2. Aaron Judge did not let his ejection in Saturday's 5-3 win linger. In fact, he avenged it with his seventh home run (and 20th RBI) of the season.

With one out and a 1-1 count, Judge launched Tarik Skubal's 97 mph four-seam fastball to opposite field and into the short-porch seats, putting New York up 1-0 in the first inning and sending a message as he turned the page from Saturday's drama. This is the type of response that one would expect from the captain, and Judge (.220/.350/.439) did so on his way to a 2-for-3 day.

3. While the Yankees tacked on a run in the second inning on Oswaldo Cabrera's two-out double, an inside-out line drive muscled down the right-field line that scored Gleyber Torres from third base, Nestor Cortes only had a 2-0 lead through the left-hander's six-plus innings of work. Cortes shrugged off the lack of run support with a season-high-tying nine strikeouts.

Cortes (3.72 ERA), who allowed three hits before exiting with one out and two on in the seventh inning, walked one batter while throwing 64 strikes on 97 pitches. He inherited the two runs that the Tigers subsequently scored off right-hander Ian Hamilton, but Cortes ultimately dominated Detroit and delivered one of his best outings to this point in 2024.

4. After dropping three out of four games at the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the week, the Yankees responded by getting the brooms out for a gutsy sweep against the Tigers. New York fought for Friday's 2-1 win and Saturday's 5-3 victory, and Sunday's 5-2 final was no different.

Give the Yankees credit for finding ways to beat a Detroit team that entered with some momentum, having won four of its past five games and entering at 18-13. Can New York do the same as the six-game homestand continues?

Who's the MVP?

While Soto is the headliner, the Yankees would not have been in that position without Cortes. By definition, Cortes was the most valuable player on the field Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. When New York needed its southpaw to bear down and keep the score where it was before the offense's light turned on, Cortes delivered a bulldog outing.

Highlights

What's next

The Yankees and Houston Astros begin a three-game series with Tuesday's opener.

New York right-hander Luis Gil (2-1, 3.19 ERA) is the only probable pitcher listed for the 7:05 p.m. start.

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