Friday, April 19 2024

The Yankees hit three late home runs to lift them over the Houston Astros 5-3 on Saturday for their third comeback in a row to start the season.

Here are the takeaways…

Oswaldo Cabrera, who probably wouldn’t have made the Opening Day roster if it wasn’t for injuries to DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Peraza, is making his case to keep his roster spot even when those players eventually return. Cabrera is taking full advantage of his opportunity and homered for the second time in this series – this one a two-run blast that tied the game in the seventh inning.

Looking pedestrian against Houston starter Hunter Brown and lacking the clutch hit for most of the game, Cabrera turned the game on its head with his homer off reliever Bryan Abreu. Clearing the right-field wall by just a few feet, it was Cabrera’s second game-tying home run of the season after he hit a solo shot in the sixth that knotted things up on Opening Day.

Hitting in the eighth spot of the lineup, Cabrera is batting .583 (7-for-12) with a double, six RBIs and a 1.750 OPS to go along with his two home runs.

Juan Soto has also begun his Yankee tenure with a flourish and he continued that on Saturday night by hitting his first home run with his new club. Not long after Cabrera tied it, Soto gave New York the lead with a solo blast to the opposite field.

Soto went 2-for-5 out of the two-hole and is making up for Aaron Judge‘s struggles (.167 average, .536 OPS) to begin the season.

-For good measure, Anthony Volpe hit a solo shot of his own in the eighth inning for his first of the season. The shortstop is right there with Soto and Cabrera in terms of productivity at the dish to start the year.

The 22-year-old is 4-for-10 on the season with a .571 OBP and 1.371 OPS.

-After 18 innings of clean baseball that resulted in two wins to begin the season, New York had its first clunker in the field by making three errors that resulted in three unearned runs against starter Marcus Stroman. Cabrera, Volpe and Stroman each committed an error (all throwing) with Volpe’s and Stroman’s coming on the same play.

Cabrera’s miscue came with one out in the second inning, which allowed Yainer Diaz to reach first base. Stroman then hit Jose Abreu with a pitch, but got Jeremy Pena to ground out to shortstop which would’ve been the final out of the inning. The Yankees were also unable to turn the double play which brought Mauricio Dubon to the plate and he delivered with a two-out, two-run double that put Houston on top early.

The second and third errors came in the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out with Yordan Alvarez due up. Stroman got what he wanted by getting Alvarez to ground one to first base, but after Anthony Rizzo got the out at second base Volpe’s throw was wide which allowed another run to score. Stroman recovered the ball quickly, but to make matters worse he wildly threw the ball in the direction of third base except the ball got nowhere near the bag, allowing the runner to advance to third anyway.

-Aside from the error and hit-by-pitch, Stroman turned in a solid Yankees debut by going six innings and giving up three runs (none earned) on four hits, two walks and striking out four. He threw 101 pitches (58 strikes).

Stroman’s pitching kept his team in the game which is all New York could ask for, especially after going down 2-0 early. The 32-year-old showed poise and composure on the mound by not letting the errors get to him which ultimately allowed his team to fight back in this one.

Game MVP: Juan Soto

Soto’s solo shot in the top of the seventh inning was the game-winner and the outfielder is now batting .500 (6-for-12) with a 1.433 OPS in his first three games as a Yankee.

Highlights

What’s next

The Yanks and Stros finish off their four-game opening series at Minute Maid Park on Sunday at 2:10 p.m.

RHP Clarke Schmidt makes his first start of the season for New York, opposed by Houston’s RHP J.P. France.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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