MLB: Juan Soto returns, Aaron Judge sits as Yanks beat Royals

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Carlos Rodon threw seven solid innings, leading the New York Yankees to a 4-2 win on Monday against the host Kansas City Royals.

The game featured two key lineup changes for the Yankees.

Juan Soto returned from a three-game absence caused by left forearm inflammation, and he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run as the designated hitter. Aaron Judge, who hit three homers over the previous two games and is batting .539 in June, got his first day off of the season.

Rodon (9-2) was aided by several fine defensive plays, including a diving stop by first baseman DJ LeMahieu on Bobby Witt Jr.’s sharp grounder along the first base line in the fourth inning.

Rodon allowed a run on five singles with three strikeouts and no walks to win his seventh consecutive start, extending the best stretch of his career.

Michael Tonkin earned his first save of the year — and second of his career — when he struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

The Yankees banged out eight singles against Seth Lugo (9-2), scoring two runs in the first and two in the fourth.

Three consecutive first-inning hits produced a run when Alex Verdugo’s sharp grounder past Witt at short, and LeMahieu collected his first RBI of the year with a squeeze bunt for a 2-0 lead.

Jose Trevino’s two-out, two-run hit to center gave New York a 4-0 lead in the fourth.

Lugo went seven innings, allowing four runs with a walk and two hit batters. He struck out four.

The win was Aaron Boone’s 556th as manager, matching Billy Martin for seventh all-time for the Yankees.

Nelson Velazquez got the Royals’ first hit, opening the fifth with a sharp single to left. Nick Loftin followed with a broken-bat infield hit.

Through six innings, the Royals managed just three baserunners — two were erased on double-play grounders — and only one advanced past second.

Trailing 4-0, Kansas City broke through in the seventh with three hits, capped by Freddy Fermin’s RBI single to center.

Witt extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games with a run-scoring double in the eighth, cutting the Yankees lead to 4-2.

Royals right fielder Hunter Renfroe left the game in the top of the fifth with a fractured left big toe.

–Field Level Media

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