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Saturday, September 21, 2013
Sori's storybook return continues

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi can't explain why Alfonso Soriano has been on a tear ever since being traded to the Yankees.

"I don’t know, but we're sure thankful to have him, and he’s been special for us since he’s got here," the manager said after Soriano contributed yet another home run in New York’s 6-0 victory over San Francisco on Saturday afternoon.

Soriano, who led off the sixth inning with a solo shot into the left-field stands, now has 17 homers and 50 RBIs in just 52 games as a Yankee this season, which equates to a 53-homer, 156-RBI pace over a full year.

"I think he’s excited to be here," Girardi said. "He had such fond memories of being here before and he enjoyed it so much."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Soriano (34 home runs, 101 RBIs total) is only the fifth player in major league history to drive in 50 or more runs for two teams in one season, joining Matt Holliday (2009), Manny Ramirez (2008), Carlos Beltran (2004) and David Justice (2000).

Soriano has driven in 35 runs in 26 games in the Bronx since the Cubs dealt the 37-year-old outfielder to the Yankees.

"It's different. In Chicago there’s a lot of young guys. Here, there's a lot of veteran guys with talent too. They're more focused on winning here," Soriano said. "I've played before in the American League and I'm comfortable here.

"This is my first organization, so I know what being a Yankee means. It's all about winning. I'm happy that I’m back and I just try and do my job."

• The Yankees (82-73) clinched their 21st consecutive winning season (1993-2013). ... The Yankees have 10 shutouts this season, their most since 2008. ... Yankees hitters have scored 11 runs and hit four home runs over their past two games. They had combined to score nine runs and hit one homer in their previous five. Eduardo Nunez snapped a 108 at-bat homer-less drought with a two-run shot in the fourth.