SOTO SLUGS AND MAX TWIRLS AS NATS CLUB CUBS!

Washington Nationals' Juan Soto hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By Lewis Gould

The Nats Juan Soto homered off Wrigley Field’s right-field scoreboard, helping Max Scherzer win his third straight, 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Soto became the 16th player to hit the scoreboard that was installed in 2012, hitting a 421-foot drive on a 3-2 slider in the fifth from Jake Arrieta (4-4) that gave Washington a 4-1 lead. Soto also singled twice.

“He’s been hitting the ball hard, but now he’s starting to elevate the ball,” manager Dave Martinez said.

Soto hit his fourth homer this season. He missed time with a strained left shoulder.

“It’s just feeling better,” Soto said. “I put the ball in the air a couple of times and it feels almost normal again. We’re catching the ball out there and just letting it fly.”

Scherzer (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings with eight strikeouts and four walks. The three-time Cy Young Award winner labored at times against the Cubs but has given up just four runs over his last four starts.

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