New Yankees star Juan Soto preserves Opening Day win with game-saving defense in 9th inning

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The Juan Soto epoch successful the Bronx is disconnected to a blistery start.

The New York Yankees stole a 5-4 triumph against their archrival Houston Astros connected Opening Day, and it astir apt would not person happened without their newest superstar.

The Yankees acquired the perennial MVP campaigner successful a blockbuster commercialized with the San Diego Padres successful the offseason aft their 82-80 run was the worst the franchise has seen successful a generation. The team's .227 batting mean past twelvemonth was the second-lowest successful baseball, and it was their lowest triumph full successful a afloat play since 1993.

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Juan Soto successful  outfield

Juan Soto of the New York Yankees warms up successful the outfield earlier the crippled against the Houston Astros astatine Minute Maid Park successful Houston connected Thursday. (Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Soto had an RBI azygous that kick-started the Yanks' comeback connected Thursday — they were down 4-0 successful the 2nd inning, but scored 3 runs successful the fifth, 1 successful the sixth and different successful the seventh, portion starter Nestor Cortes settled successful and alleviation pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga, Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes yet unopen the door.

But Holmes ran into immoderate occupation erstwhile going for the save, arsenic helium allowed runners connected archetypal and 2nd with 1 retired successful the ninth. Kyle Tucker laced a basal deed into close field, and arsenic the Astros sent Mauricio Dubon astir 3rd successful an effort to necktie the game, Soto came firing.

And helium threw an implicit dart.

Dubon was called retired connected the field, and aft a lengthy review, the ruling connected the tract stood. The adjacent batter, Alex Bregman, grounded into a fielder's prime to springiness the Yanks the win.

Yankees' Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres

New York Yankees 2nd baseman Gleyber Torres, left, and close fielder Juan Soto observe aft the crippled against the Houston Astros astatine Minute Maid Park successful Houston connected Thursday.  (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

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The Yankees acquired Soto to springiness their discourtesy a much-needed boost, truthful thing they get connected defence is an added bonus — and this was surely an added bonus.

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In existent Soto fashion, helium walked doubly successful the victory. Entering Opening Day, his vocation .421 on-base percent since 2019 is the astir successful the majors (he's hitting successful beforehand of slugger Aaron Judge, whose .982 OPS since 2017 is besides the champion successful baseball).

Soto is slated to beryllium a escaped cause astatine the extremity of this season, truthful the Yankees are surely taking a risk, arsenic he'll apt garner astatine slightest $500 cardinal successful a caller contract.

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge

Juan Soto, left, and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees look connected during the crippled against the Houston Astros astatine Minute Maid Park successful Houston connected Thursday.  (Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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But for now, the Yankees are celebrating, and are, of course, connected gait to spell 162-0.

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