Soto, Tatis Jr. hit long home runs, Padres beat Yankees 5-1 in series opener

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San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, May 26, 2023, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. hit two-run homers, both lingering at home plate to admire no-doubt drives into the second deck, and the San Diego Padres beat the New York Yankees 5-1 Friday night in a series opener between high-profile teams trying to overcome sluggish starts.

Soto put the Padres ahead in the fifth inning against Randy Vásquez (0-1), a 24-year-old right-hander making his big league debut, and Tatis boosted the lead to 4-0 in the sixth against Ron Marinaccio. The drives totaled 871 feet.

Joe Musgrove (2-2), pitching in New York for the first time since his seven shutout innings beat the Mets in the decisive game of last year’s wild-card series, ended a four-start winless streak. He allowed one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Anthony Rizzo had an RBI grounder in the sixth for the Yankees after Gleyber Torres singled and Aaron Judge doubled.

Rougned Odor added a run-scoring single in the ninth for San Diego against Ryan Weber, giving him 12 RBIs in his last five games.

A crowd of 46,724 filled Yankee Stadium, just the third sellout this season, to watch teams reaching the Memorial Day weekend as underachievers. San Diego is 24-27 and 6 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees are 30-23 following their third straight loss, eight games back of Tampa Bay in the AL East.

The Yankees started the season with a $275 million payroll, second only to the Mets’ record $355 million, and the Padres were third at $258 million. San Diego has won four of five since dropping to 20-26.

After Vásquez grazed Jake Cronenworth’s thigh with a pitch in the fifth, Soto fouled a 1-0 offering off his left knee and then drove a full-count cutter to right for his 10th home run. The 432-foot drive left the bat at 114 mph, the Padres’ hardest-hit home run this season.

Soto transferred his bat to his left hand and then, holding the fat end, flipped the lumber into the ground and pounded his chest with his right fist before starting his trot.

Tatis followed a walk to Austin Nola by sending a first-pitch changeup 439 feet into the left-field second deck for his eighth homer. He held the bat as he watched the ball, then casually flipped it toward the Padres’ bench.

After each home run, the sluggers posed with the baserunners for a Polaroid, a tradition begun last season. Tatis appeared to talk up his home run to fans as he walked to right field for the bottom half.

Vásquez allowed two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk. He threw 51 of 84 pitches for strikes, averaging 93.7 mph with his fastball.

Vásquez had not seen a major league game in person until Thursday. His No. 98 became highest number worn by a Yankees starting pitcher, surpassing JP Sears’ No. 92 last year.


Bench coach Carlos Mendoza ran the Yankees in place of manager Aaron Boone, suspended for one game by Major League Baseball following his fourth ejection of the season on Thursday.


Padres: 3B Manny Machado took on-field batting practice for the first time since his left hand was fractured by a pitch from Kansas City’s Brad Keller on May 15. Manager Bob Melvin said Machado was unlikely to play this weekend. … INF Ha-Seong Kim was out of the lineup, a day after fouling a ball off his left knee, but could return Saturday.

Yankees: DH/OF Giancarlo Stanton (strained left hamstring) could start a rehab assignment Tuesday. … RHP Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis) is to make a second rehab appearance Sunday, likely another on Tuesday, then be activated for next weekend’s series at Dodger Stadium. … 3B Josh Donaldson (right hamstring) was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and two walks as the DH in his second rehab game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’ll have Saturday off, play Sunday, then be evaluated.

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