MLB: Yankees’ Juan Soto hopes to return to lineup vs. Dodgers

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Juan Soto felt a massive sense of relief Friday afternoon before he dealt with the frustration of being unable to help the New York Yankees defeat the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of the three-game series.

After sitting out for the first time this season due to left forearm inflammation, Soto hopes he can be in the lineup on Saturday night.

“I want to be out there,” Soto said. “I want to be out there trying to win a game with my teammates and try to enjoy the moment but it is what it is. We’re going to take what we have right now and keep moving forward.”

Soto was a spectator for Friday’s 2-1 loss, a result that snapped the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak. Teoscar Hernandez hit a go-ahead two-run double in the 11th inning off Ian Hamilton.

“It was a great ballgame,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “You love when you’re scoring of course and doing that, but man it was one of those, there’s a lot of good pitching, good plays, tough at-bats. Both sides had a couple of opportunities to break through and couldn’t. But just a very well-pitched ballgame.”

Earlier on Friday, Soto underwent the MRI that showed the inflammation. He was pulled from Thursday’s 8-5 win over the Minnesota Twins as a precaution during a rain delay in between the fifth and sixth innings.

Without Soto, the Yankees finished with five hits against Yoshinobu Yamamoto and five relievers. Aaron Judge had an RBI single and reached four times to extend his on-base streak to 33 games.

The Dodgers are 7-3 in their past 10 contests since a five-game losing streak. They finished with four hits on Friday, one day after getting 14 in their 11-7 win at Pittsburgh.

Shohei Ohtani scored on Hernandez’s double and was 0-for-5. Freddie Freeman drew his second walk of the game and also scored on Hernandez’s clutch hit.

“Tonight felt different,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been in a wild-card game and it’s a little different. But it felt like a playoff game today. I like that. I like to play in these atmospheres and try to keep going and do my best.”

Left-hander Nestor Cortes (3-4, 3.46), who is experiencing dramatically different results at home than on the road, goes for the Yankees.

In six home starts, Cortes is 3-1 with a 1.12 ERA and hitters are batting .170 off him. On the road, he is 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA and hitters are batting .295 against him.

Cortes recorded a pair of no-decisions during New York’s road trip. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings before the Yankees rallied in San Francisco on Sunday.

Cortes is starting against the Dodgers for the first time. He pitched two scoreless innings against them on Aug. 23, 2019, in New York’s 10-2 win at Dodger Stadium.

Right-hander Gavin Stone (6-2, 2.90), who is attempting to win three straight starts for the first time in his young career, will take the mound on Saturday for Los Angeles. Stone allowed seven hits and struck out 13 batters in 12 scoreless innings in his most recent games, wins over the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies.

Stone also is 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA over his past five starts and has allowed two runs or fewer in eight outings this season.

Stone is facing the Yankees for the first time.

–Field Level Media

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