Key takeaways from Yankees’ big 7-1 win over Astros to start 2-0

Oswaldo Cabrera Yankees
New York Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera, right, celebrates with first base coach Travis Chapman after hitting a two-run single during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

The Yankees are 2-0 after an explosive four-run seventh inning that sparked a 7-1 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night. Here are our biggest takeaways:

Check Oswaldo Cabrera’s temperature

Cabrera had the tying home run on Opening Day and on Friday night, he had the game-tying RBI single in the seventh and broke it open with a two-run single in the eighth on his way to collecting a career-high four hits. Whatever the game calls for, it looks like the third baseman, who is 6-for-9 to start this season with four RBI, has a red-hot bat in his hands.

In doing so, he continues to make a case for himself as to why he should be a regular piece in the Yankees’ lineup, not just the backup for DJ LeMahieu.

Houston, you have a problem

The Yankees trailed 1-0 through six innings — and then the Astros fell apart. Following Cabrera’s game-tying single, second baseman Gleyber Torres was hit in the hand to load the bases before Soto worked a walk for the go-ahead run.

An inning later, a pair of errors padded the Yankees’ lead. A Jeremy Pena throwing error on a fielder’s choice allowed Anthony Volpe to reach base and Anthony Rizzo to score to make it a 3-1 game. Astros pitcher Parker Mushinski then threw the ball away on an Austin Wells bunt that allowed the catcher to take second while Alex Verdugo scored to make it a 4-1 game.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a homer that went nearly 420 feet for the seventh run in the top of the ninth.

A mixed day for Carlos Rodon

On multiple occasions the Yankees’ starter clogged up the bases, letting runners get into scoring position, creating the threat of seeing a one-run game get out of hand early.

But the southpaw battled — a key strikeout of Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez with two on and two outs in the fourth inning seemed to reignite his fire.

His fastball was sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss. He clocked 98 on it at one point, but other times he was wildly above the strike zone, releasing too early.

In 4.1 innings he gave up one run on five hits, walking three and fanning four. Nick Burdi
stepped in to relieve for his Yankee debut, putting up a zero in the fifth inning before a 1-2-3
frame by Luke Weaver in the sixth, who also recorded the first out of the seventh. Victor Gonzalez, Caleb Ferguson, and Clayton Beeter continued to keep the Astros off the board through the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.

Another Yankees injury

Gleyber Torres Yankees
New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres is hit by a pitch from Houston Astros reliever Tayler Scott during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, March 29, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

In the seventh inning, that pitch that hit Torres’ hand ultimately drove him from the game as he signaled to his dugout to exit. It prompted the Yankees to bring on defensive replacement Jahmai Jones for the waning frames.

Immediate X-rays came back clean, according to manager Aaron Boone, but there’s no timetable or prognosis on Torres as of yet.

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