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Juan Soto homers twice to lift Nationals to 5-4 win over the Yankees and series split in New York...

Juan Soto homered twice, once to left and then to right-center to lift the Nationals to a 5-4 win over the Yankees in the series finale in Yankee Stadium.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto‘s three-run blast in the fourth put the Washington Nationals up 4-3, and after the Yankees tied it up, the 19-year-old phenom did it again, sending a solo shot to right field, over New York‘s bullpen, and deep into the seats, 436 ft from home to put the Nats up for good, 5-4 final in the Bronx.

Fedde in NY: Erick Fedde, the Nationals’ 2014 1st Round pick, debuted with three starts for Washington last season, including one in Wrigley Field, which gave him some experience that was helpful this time around when he made his 2018 debut last month against the San Diego Padres in the nation’s capital.

Fedde gave up six hits and three earned runs in what ended up a 3-1 loss to the Padres, but said he felt much better about his stuff and comfort-level this time around.

“I felt like today the game never got too quick for me. Just felt like much more in check of myself. I think that was the biggest thing. I think all my stuff was working really well today, so that helped,” Fedde said.

He took the mound tonight with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a sac fly RBI by Anthony Rendon, but the lead didn’t last long as Brett Gardner singled up the middle, stole second, took third on a throwing error by Nationals’ catcher Spencer Kieboom, and scored on a sac fly by Aaron Judge, 1-1.

Greg Byrd got all of a 1-1 slider Fedde left up and over the middle of the plate in the second, sending a solo shot over the right field wall to put the Yankees up 2-1. Byrd’s third.

Aaron Judge hit a full-count curve off the left field wall, hard, with one out in the home-half of the third inning, and scored from third one out later on a Giancarlo Stanton chopper that got by Anthony Rendon, 3-1.

Juan Soto put the Nationals on top with a three-run blast in the fourth, but after a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth inning, Fedde gave up another home run on an 0-1 sinker to Gleyber Torres that the Yankees’ second baseman lined to left center for his 12th of 2018.

Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 87 P, 55 S, 9/2 GO/FO.

Gray’s Turn: After posting a 6.67 ERA and a .289/.393/.412 line against in his first six starts and 27 IP this season, Yankees’ righty Sonny Gray settled in and put up a respectable 3.44 ERA and a .224/.295/.388 line over his last six outings and 36 23 innings on the mound for the Yankees, who acquired the starter from the Oakland A’s in a 3-for-1 trade last July.

Gray was behind 1-0 early tonight, however, after Adam Eaton doubled on a line drive that cleared the left-center wall on a hop and scored from third base one out later on a sac fly to center field off Anthony Rendon’s bat, 1-0.

A solo home run by Greg Byrd in the second and an RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton in the third put the Yankees up 3-1, but they were down 4-3 half an inning later after Gray gave up a three-run blast to left field by Juan Soto on a 96 mph 1-0 fastball that the 19-year-old Nats’ slugger sent out the other way for his first homer off a right-hander and 4th HR overall.

Sonny Gray’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 89 P, 51, 7/1 GO/FO.

Giving away runners: Juan Soto got picked off first to end the second, an at bat after Matt Adams got doubled off second on a liner to Gleyber Torres off Wilmer Difo’s bat to end the start of something when Matt Adams singled and Soto walked in the first two at bats.

Adam Eaton tried to stretch a single to left into a double and got thrown out at second in the first at bat of the third.

Trea Turner singled with two down in the Nationals’ half of the third inning, but then he too got picked off first by Yankees’ righty Sonny Gray. Not the way to start a rally, Nationals.

Also, Michael A. Taylor came on as a pinch runner after Adam Eaton’s leadoff single in the eighth, and got thrown out trying to steal second.

Soto Power Power: Juan Soto hit his first three home runs in the majors off lefties, but got one against a righty tonight, sending a three-run blast out the other way off Sonny Gray in the top of the fourth, on a 96 mph 1-0 fastball that the 19-year-old slugger hit high and just far enough to clear the fence.

Soto did it again in the seventh, sending a solo shot to right-center off Chase Shreve to put the Nationals back on top two innings after the Yankees rallied to tie it.

BULLPEN ACTION: Chase Shreve took over for the Yankees in the top of the sixth and retired the side in order to keep it tied at 4-4.

Justin Miller took over for the Nationals in the bottom of the inning, and struck out the side in a quick 14-pitch frame that left him with 10 scoreless innings on the mound in which he’s allowed one hit while striking out 20 of 31 batters faced.

Juan Soto put the Nationals back on top with a ridiculous blast on a 1-0 fastball from lefty Chasen Shreve in the top of the seventh, and Miller came back out and gave up a leadoff double to right by Greg Bird, but retired two batters before he was replaced on the mound by Sammy Solis.

Solis threw a wild pitch that moved Bird to third, before Brett Gardner hit a grounder back to the mound that Solis fielded for out No. 3.

Ryan Madson got the bottom of the eighth for the Nationals after David Robertson threw a scoreless top of the inning, and stranded two runners after putting two on with one out on a walk to Didi Gregorius and a single by Giancarlo Stanton.

Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth looking for save No. 17 in 18 opportunities, and retired the side in order.


Final Score: 5-4 Nationals

Nationals now 37-28