Juan Soto returns to San Diego and hits 1 of the Yankees' 4 homers in an 8-0 win vs. the Padres

Juan Soto returns to San Diego and hits 1 of the Yankees' 4 homers in an 8-0 win vs. the Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Juan Soto hit a long two-run homer in his first game back in San Diego, and Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton also hit no-doubters off Yu Darvish in the third inning of the New York Yankees' 8-0 win over the Padres on Friday night.

Gleyber Torres then led off the fourth with a line shot to center for the AL East-leading Yankees, who won for the 10th time in 12 games. The power surge by the Bronx Bombers backed an excellent effort by Carlos Rodón (6-2), who held the Padres to three singles in six-plus scoreless innings to win his fourth straight decision.

San Diego was shut out for the third time in five games while the Yankees pitched their seventh shutout, one shy of the major league high.

Soto played in San Diego for the first time since the Padres dealt him to the Yankees on Dec. 7 in the second blockbuster trade involving the slugger in 16 months.

He described the third inning as “electric, fun. Definitely fun. It was pretty cool to see the guys coming through against a guy like that. It's huge.”

He was greeted with a mixture of boos from Padres fans and cheers from the many Yankees fans at Petco Park when the starting lineup was announced and each time he came to the plate.

“I wasn't expecting cheers or boos but they did both,” Soto said. “I was right in the middle. That was pretty cool. That's fine. I don't mind at all.”

It didn’t take Soto long to show Padres fans what they are missing when he hit a deep drive to right field with two outs in the third, with Austin Wells aboard on a leadoff single. Soto tossed his bat aside and Fernando Tatis Jr. just turned and watch the 423-foot homer — Soto's 14th — sail into the stands.

Judge followed with a 409-foot homer to left, his 16th. With Alex Verdugo aboard on a single, Stanton hit a 417-foot homer into the second balcony on the brick warehouse in the left field corner, his 13th. It was reminiscent of when he peppered Petco Park to win the 2016 Home Run Derby.

“Get a guy on and then Juan did his thing to start the fireworks. But I think it was a bunch of guys taking great swings,” Judge said. “Just a lot of energy. The fans really brought it today in San Diego so we're all excited to be out here. The inning was just guys being locked in. It happened so fast.”

All four homers were on the first or second pitch. Darvish gave up two homers to his first 195 batters this year, then four in a six-batter span.

The Yankees are 37-4, including the playoffs, when Stanton and Judge homer in the same game and are 2-0 when Soto, Judge and Stanton all homer in the same game.

“It was pretty awesome, actually,” manager Aaron Boone said of the third inning. “You get those moments every now and then in the regular season that are, ‘Man, that was pretty cool.’ When Juan kind of took the air out of it right there and Judgey follows it right up, and then here we go Verdugo and then here we go Stanton, one of those cool ones during the season that you get to be a part of."

Stanton and Judge homered in a 5-0 win against Seattle on Thursday.

Torres' fourth homer went 411 feet.

Soto flied out to the wall in right in the seventh and doubled in the ninth.

Darvish's 25-inning scoreless streak ended in the first when Anthony Volpe hit a leadoff triple and scored on Judge's sacrifice fly. Darvish (4-2), trying to win his fifth straight start, allowed seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked one.

Soto left a note on the grass in right field after the eighth that his former teammate Tatis picked up and read when he took the field in the ninth.

Soto wouldn't say what the note said, but added: “It was something cool. He enjoyed it because when I hit the double he looked at me, he was laughing about it."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: No. 9 batter Jon Berti fell to the ground just a few steps out of the box on a groundout in the ninth and had to be helped off the field. Boone said it appeared to be a calf injury. ... RHP Nick Burdi was placed on the 15-day IL with right hip inflammation. RHP Yoendrys Gómez was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Marcus Stroman (3-2, 3.05 ERA) and Padres RHP Dylan Cease 5-3, 3.05) are the scheduled starters Saturday night.

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