The New York Yankees overcame a strange interference call in the first inning to defeat the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday. The controversial early play involving Juan Soto was the highlight of an uneventful 2-1 Yankees victory.

With runners on first and second in the top of the first, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a fly ball directly above second base. Umpire Vic Carapazza called Stanton out on an infield fly.

Though Stanton was already out, Angels shortstop Zach Neto made a play on the ball anyway. While he was waiting underneath it, Soto collided with Neto and sent him to the ground while trying to return to second base. Carapazza called Soto out on interference in a bizarre double play. New York did not score in the inning.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was irate and argued with Carapazza until he was ejected. The umpire stood by the call, however, reciting the rule book verbatim after the game. Runners are only protected from interference calls on infield fly plays when they are already on base, making Soto guilty of interference regardless of whether Stanton was already out or not.

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After the game, Boone acknowledged that Carapazza probably made the right call, but also complained that there was nothing Soto could have done to avoid interference.

“I don’t know what Juan [is supposed to do],” Boone said. “You can say, ‘He’d better get there,’ but once he commits to getting there and he’s trying to stay out of the way, if Neto catches it, he might catch it on the bag for a double play. It’s like, ‘Where do you go?’ So, obviously a tough way to start things when you load the bases there in the first inning and you’ve got a really good pitcher on the ropes.”

Despite the “wonky call,” to use Boone’s words, the Yankees managed to scrap together two runs on six hits during the game and defeat the Angels. New York starting pitcher Luis Gil threw an eight-inning gem, allowing one run on two hits and striking out nine batters. The Yankees improved to 38-19 on the season, giving them a 1.5-game lead over the Orioles in the A.L. East division.

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