LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers fans made their feelings known as Juan Soto stepped into the batter’s box, just in case the Washington Nationals star didn’t get their message at the All-Star Game.
“Future Dodger!” the crowd of 48,647 chanted. They heartily applauded Soto in his first at-bat.
Whether he ends up in LA or not, Soto put on a show.
His two-run triple capped a four-run fifth inning and the lowly Washington Nationals defeated the NL West-leading Dodgers 4-1 on Monday night, snapping Los Angeles’ 11-game home winning streak.
“Our best player, Soto, comes up with a big hit and drove in some runs,” Nats manager Dave Martinez said. “It was a big moment for Juan to come through.”
The Nationals (33-65) brought the worst record in the majors into Dodger Stadium, where they won for the first time since the 2019 NL Division Series, against the team with baseball’s best record (64-31). The Dodgers’ season-high eight-game overall winning streak ended.
“They shut down a really good team,” Martinez said of his bullpen. “Guys played with a lot of energy.”
Soto said before the game he’s trying not to think about the trade talk swirling around him ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline. The chatter isn’t affecting him at the plate. Soto is batting .362 with a 1.260 OPS this month, including six homers, a triple and two doubles.
The 23-year-old All-Star right fielder left his trophy from winning last week’s Home Run Derby in the visitors’ clubhouse, knowing that he’d soon be back here. It rested on a wheeled trunk in the middle of the room with a gold link chain wrapped around it and Derby Champ spelled out in platinum.
The Nationals haven’t signaled that they’re looking to unload the left-handed hitter with a .248 average and .895 OPS. But that hasn’t stopped the…