Nationals' Juan Soto homers on first pitch of first career at-bat as starter

By Alex Butler  |  May 21, 2018 at 8:53 PM
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May 21 (UPI) -- Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto hit a home run on the first pitch of his first career at-bat as a starter Monday against the San Diego Padres.

The 19-year-old made his Major League Baseball debut on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out in his only plate appearance. On Monday, Soto was slotted in the No. 6 spot in the Nationals' lineup for the contest at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Washington went down in order in the bottom of the first frame. The Nationals bats came alive in the bottom of the second inning. Mark Reynolds began the inning with a line drive single. Pedro Severino doubled, sending Reynolds over to third base.

Then it was the 19-year-old's chance to make an impact. Soto settled in against Padres starter Robbie Erlin. The lefty fired in a 90.4-mph four-seam fastball. Soto pumped the pitch into the left center field seats for a three-run bomb.

Soto's shot went 422 feet and left his bat at 106.8-mph, according to Statcast.

The Nationals pushed the lead to 4-0 after Trea Turner hit an RBI double later in the inning. Bryce Harper brought in another run with a double following Turner's at-bat. Washington added a run in the third inning, before San Diego plated two runs in the fourth frame. The Nationals led 9-2 after six innings.

Soto was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored entering the seventh frame.

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