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Juan Soto has first multi-HR game for Yankees, Luis Gil strikes out 14 in win over White Sox

Juan Soto has first multi-HR game for Yankees, Luis Gil strikes out 14 in win over White Sox

Juan Soto hit two home runs in arguably his best game thus far with the New York Yankees, and Luis Gil notched 14 strikeouts in a 6–1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Soto's two homers were part of a 4-for-4 day with a walk and three RBI. His first deep drive came in the first inning, blasting a 3–1 changeup from Brad Keller into the right-field seats. He followed that up by crushing a fastball to nearly the same spot in the ballpark.

With the excellent day at the plate, Soto raised his season numbers to a .317 batting average and .975 OPS with 11 home runs and 37 RBI. The Yankees are the first team in the majors to have three batters in their lineup reach double-digit home run totals with Aaron Judge's 12 and Giancarlo Stanton's 11.

"There’s a consistency to what he does and a confidence to what he’s doing," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Soto after the game, via MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. “He has a real good understanding of himself and hitting. He knows the things that he wants to work on.”

Earlier this week, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he wants to sign Soto, 25, to a long-term contract extension, despite agent Scott Boras not typically advising his clients to do so. Upon hearing that, Soto responded, "Any contract stuff, they know where to call and who to talk to."

On the mound, Gil made sure that the White Sox had no chance of matching the Yankees' offense with a career-high in strikeouts. However, the right-hander struggled to begin the game, giving up hits to the first two batters he faced and allowing Chicago to take a 1–0 lead on an Andrew Benintendi double.

Gil settled down after that, allowing only two more hits over his next five innings. He struck out the side in the third, fourth and fifth frames, finishing with five hits and one walk allowed in a six-inning outing.

The 14 strikeouts are the most by a rookie Yankees pitcher, surpassing the 13 by Orlando Hernandez in 1998. Gil's previous high for strikeouts was nine, which he compiled on April 21 versus the Tampa Bay Rays. (In a nice coincidence, "El Duque" threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday.)

"He was really good. As good as his fastball's been all season," Boone said. "Today felt like maybe his best one, just pouring it in there with the presence of his secondary stuff too. Just really impressive."

Jose Trevino and Stanton also hit home runs for the Yankees. Stanton has homered in five of his past nine games, raising his numbers to a .258 average, .839 OPS, 11 homers and 26 RBI. As of May 9, he was batting .220 with a .734 OPS.

The Yankees improved their record to 32–15, leading the AL East. The White Sox continue a miserable season, falling to 14–32, tied with the Miami Marlins for the worst record in MLB.

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