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August 15, 2013

What You Need to Know

Soriano Strikes Again

by Daniel Rathman


The Wednesday Takeaway
The Yankees acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs on July 26, hoping that he could prod a dormant lineup into action. That did not happen right away. In the first 15 games of his second stay in the Bronx, Soriano batted just .193/.220/.368; he smacked three homers in 59 plate appearances, but also struck out 19 times and walked just twice.

Then the Angels came to town.

Soriano and the Angels are well acquainted. When they came to Chicago on July 9, Soriano, then the Cubs’ cleanup hitter, greeted them with a couple of home runs. If he had stayed with the Cubs, the Halos would have been delighted to steer clear of his bat for the rest of the year. Alas, the Yankees came calling, offered up a pitching prospect and some salary relief, and put the Angels on a collision course with Soriano a month and four days after he pummeled Joe Blanton and Michael Kohn.

In the words of manager Mike Scioscia, two games into the three-game series at Yankee Stadium, Soriano “has had a pretty good month” at the Angels’ expense.

On Tuesday, Soriano did something he had never done: he collected six RBI in one contest, a laugher in which the Yankees scored two touchdowns to the Angels’ one. Five of those RBI came on a pair of long balls, a two-run shot off of Jason Vargas in the fifth and a three-run blast off of Blanton in the seventh. Sandwiched between those dingers was a run-scoring single against Kohn in the sixth. Soriano’s middle-inning onslaught helped the Yankees compile an 11-run lead, rendering the four runs the Angels tallied in the top of the ninth meaningless.

On Wednesday, Soriano one-upped himself: he drove in a career-high seven runs in one contest, a laugher in which the Yankees did most of their damage early instead of late. The home team dropped a four-spot on Jered Weaver in each of the first two innings, and Soriano was responsible for six of those eight tallies.

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