Soriano pitches scoreless ninth in return

Here’s some reason for optimism following the New York Yankees’ 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night: That Guy is back.

Right-handed setup man Rafael Soriano returned to the mound for the first time since May 8, pitching a scoreless ninth inning, while striking out Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Soriano loaded the bases in the frame, but managed to get right fielder J.D. Drew to bounce into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.

Soriano had been dealing with shoulder issues, but saw a doctor on Friday, and was cleared to resume pitching.

“I feel fine,” said Soriano, who lowered his ERA to 3.71 despite walking a pair of Red Sox hitters. “I feel fine today.”

Soriano said he’d probably be available to pitch on Saturday night if need be.

“I think so,” Soriano said. “I’m gonna come back tomorrow, do my routine and figure it out. I feel fine so far.

Soriano saw a doctor on Thursday, played catch that day, and was given clearance to pitch on Friday.

The Yankees can only hope that’s his last trip to the infirmary this season.