Yankees roll to eighth straight but Juan Soto injury exit overshadows win

A dream start to the Yankees’ season and Juan Soto’s time in The Bronx took its first wrong turn on Thursday, as the superstar outfielder was removed from an 8-5 win over the Twins with left forearm discomfort.

Soto’s departure following a 56-minute rain delay before the top of the sixth overshadowed the Yankees’ season-high eighth straight win.

He’s set to get imaging on Friday after being checked out by the training staff and team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad during the delay Thursday and it was decided not to risk putting Soto back in the game.

New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto (22) flied out to shallow left during the fourth inning when the New York Yankees played the Minnesota Twins. Robert Sabo for NY Post

“When you take a player the caliber of Juan out of a game, there’s always concern about that,’’ Aaron Boone said. “But we’re hoping we’re just being cautious here.”

The outfielder said he has been dealing with a forearm issue for the last week or two.

“We’ve been trying to get away with it and it hasn’t gone [away],’’ said Soto, adding he woke up with the discomfort and it was not related to any baseball play.

It came on a night in which the Yankees completed another sweep of the Twins and also extended their lead in the AL East over Baltimore to 4½ games, their largest of the year and surpassed the idle Phillies for the best record in the majors (45-19).

Much of that has been because of the fearsome 1-2 punch of Soto and Aaron Judge.

Judge has stayed healthy and the durable Soto has played every game so far this season in his first year with the Yankees — and he didn’t miss a game all last year with the Padres.

He was replaced by Alex Verdugo.

Gleyber Torres hits a two-run double in the first inning of the Yankees’ win over the Twins. Robert Sabo for NY Post

Asked if an IL stint might be required, Boone said it was “way too early” to know.

Jasson Dominguez is at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, finishing off his rehab from last year’s Tommy John surgery and could be a possible option if Soto has to go down.

As for the game, the Yankees completed a season sweep of Minnesota and improved to 123-44 against their AL Central foes since 2002, including the postseason.

Yankees’ grounds crew put the tarp on the field during a rain delay that nearly lasted an hour. Robert Sabo for New York Post

Tommy Kahnle found himself in trouble with two on and two out in the eighth, but Anthony Volpe made a terrific play to his right on a sharp grounder by Carlos Correa to get the force at second and preserve a three-run lead.

They also got three RBIs from little-used Trent Grisham, who was just 2-for-39 on the season coming into the game.

The offense helped overcome Marcus Stroman’s shaky performance, as the right-hander allowed a season-high five runs in just 4 ²/₃ innings.

Aaron Judge slides safely into home to score on Gleyber Torres’ two-run double in the third inning of the Yankees’ victory. Robert Sabo for NY Post

Stroman allowed a pair of solo homers in the first three innings before he was unable to finish an ugly top of the fifth, done in by two doubles and a hit by pitch.

But it didn’t matter, as the Yankees pummeled Minnesota right-hander Pablo Lopez for seven runs in four innings, highlighted by Grisham’s two-run shot in the second and a three-run third sparked by Gleyber Torres’ two-run double.

With the game tied at 2-2, Soto, Judge and Giancarlo Stanton walked to lead off the bottom of the third.

Trent Grisham rounds the bases after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning of the Yankees’ win. Robert Sabo for New York Post

Torres bounced a one-out chopper past first base and down the right field line for a two-run double.

Austin Wells followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 and the Yankees made it 7-2 in the fourth.

But Stroman fell apart an inning later, as he allowed three of the first four hitters to score.

A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning by Grisham gave the Yankees an 8-5 lead before five Yankees relievers combined to throw 5 ¹/₃ shutout innings to finish the win.

“I feel we’re a pretty confident group,’’ Stroman said. “I think when we go out, we expect to win.”

So far, that attitude has worked well this season.

They could be up against a new kind of challenge in the coming days, as they wait to see the severity of Soto’s injury.

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