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Yankees’ Juan Soto delivers second multi-home run game of 2024 season in win over Mariners

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New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto delivered his second multi-homer game of the season on Wednesday night in a win against the Seattle Mariners (NYY 7, SEA 3). Soto had previously notched a multi-homer game on May 18 against the Chicago White Sox. Aaron Judge also homered on Wednesday, marking the third time this season that Judge and Soto have each teed-off in the same game. The Yankees are 3-0 in those games.

Soto’s first home run came in the third inning and plated two, giving the Yankees an early 4-0 lead. Statcast had the blast carrying 414 feet with an exit velocity of 107.6 mph.

Soto’s second home run, a solo shot in the sixth to give New York a 5-0 lead, had an exit velocity of 107.2 mph and traveled 369 feet.

Soto, 25, entered Wednesday night hitting .309/.408/.539 (166 OPS+) with 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in. His contributions had been worth an estimated 2.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference’s estimates. Soto is currently the favorite to win the 2024 AL MVP award.

Soto, obtained from the San Diego Padres over the offseason as part of a blockbuster trade,  is slated to qualify for free agency at season’s end. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner introduced some doubt on the Yankees’ ability to retain Soto beyond this year on Wednesday by telling reporters that he didn’t view New York’s nearly $300 million payroll as being “sustainable.”

“I’m gonna be honest, payrolls at the levels we’re at right now are simply not sustainable for us financially,” Steinbrenner said. “It wouldn’t be sustainable for the vast majority of ownership [groups], given the luxury tax we have to pay.”

The Yankees are in first place in the American League East with a 34-17 record. Earlier this week, injured ace Gerrit Cole said that he hopes to return to the mound in June. He hasn’t pitched this season because of elbow nerve inflammation and edema. 

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