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Juan Soto, Aaron Judge combine for 3 homers as Yankees’ powerful pair sinks Mariners

When Juan Soto uttered his first in-person comments as a Yankee on Feb. 19, the superstar made it clear that he had high expectations for himself and new teammate Aaron Judge.

“It’s gonna be two walks or it’s gonna be two gappers,” Soto said of himself and his fellow outfielder. “But it’s gonna be fun. I think it’s gonna be great.”

The deadly duo certainly looked great while having fun on Wednesday, combining for three home runs in the Yankees’ 7-3 win over the Mariners. Soto did the heavier lifting, smoking two dingers the other way to left field.

The first, a two-run bomb, came in the third inning and landed in Seattle’s bullpen after traveling 414 feet at 107.6 mph.

Soto’s second home run of the night also went the other way, venturing more toward the corner in left. At 107.2 mph and 369 feet, the line drive just sailed over the wall for a scorching solo shot.

While Soto ended the evening with more longballs, it was Judge who struck first.

The captain hit his 14th homer of the season in the first inning. The 103.5-mph, 374-foot jack to right plated Anthony Volpe, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games by leading off with some well-placed soft contact.

Despite a slow start, Judge ended the game tied for the third-most home runs in the majors. Only Houston’s Kyle Tucker (17) and Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson (16) had clobbered more.

Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna also had 14. Meanwhile, Soto and Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani were next up with 13.

Wednesday marked the third time that Judge and Soto have gone deep in the same time. The tandem also did so in wins over Houston on May 8 and Oakland on April 24.

Aaron Boone said the first instance left him feeling “warm and fuzzy inside.”

While Seattle starter Bryce Miller surrendered the Yankees’ first three homers, Nestor Cortes continued his excellence at Yankee Stadium this season.

The southpaw entered the game with a 1.27 ERA at home – compared to a 6.75 mark on the road – before tossing five scoreless innings. While Cortes wasn’t very efficient with three walks and 97 pitches, he struck out six and held the Mariners to three hits while lowering his overall ERA to 3.29.

The Yankees’ rotation has now allowed two runs or fewer over at least five innings in 10 straight starts.

While Cortes kept the Mariners off the board, Cal Raleigh cranked a three-run homer off of Luke Weaver in the eighth inning. Two of the runs went to Michael Tonkin, who walked two batters before Weaver entered the game.

No matter, though, as Alex Verdugo repadded the Yankees’ lead with a towering, two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. He had the longest blast of the night, mashing an Austin Voth fastball 420 feet to right.

With the Yankees back in the win column, they’ll look for a series split on Thursday when Luis Gil takes the mound. The young flamethrower has a 2.39 ERA through nine starts and is coming off a spectacular outing, striking out 14 White Sox on May 18.

Luis Castillo will start the series finale for Seattle. The Mariners ace has a 3.28 ERA after 10 starts.


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