Yankees 5-4 Astros: Juan Soto ignites comeback victory on his debut day

Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Alex Verdugo celebrate as the Yankees beat the Astros 5-4 in Houston on March 28, 2024.

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In a thrilling display of resilience, the New York Yankees orchestrated a stunning turnaround to claim a 5-4 victory against the Houston Astros in their season opener. Juan Soto emerged as the hero for the Yankees with an exciting display of offense and defense at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

Cortes stumbles early allowing Astros to take the lead

The atmosphere was electric as fans eagerly awaited the start of the new season. Anticipation hung thick in the air, with both teams eager to make a statement in their quest for postseason glory. As the players took the field, the energy was palpable, setting the stage for what would prove to be a memorable encounter.

Early in the game on Thursday, the Astros managed to score three runs against Nestor Cortes in the opening inning, with Jake Meyers adding a solo homer in the second inning. Despite the initial setback, Cortes showcased resilience, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.

Yankees stage remarkable comeback

Juan Soto, the new york yankees
SNY

Despite the early deficit, the Yankees refused to be deterred, displaying a steely resolve that would ultimately turn the tide in their favor.

Leading the charge for the Yankees were two newcomers to the team, Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, both of whom made an immediate impact in their debut for the Bronx Bombers. Soto, acquired in a blockbuster offseason trade, wasted no time endearing himself to the home crowd, delivering a clutch RBI single in the fifth inning to put the Yankees on the scoreboard. His smooth swing and keen eye at the plate hinted at the offensive firepower he would bring to the lineup throughout the season.

Verdugo, another offseason acquisition, proved equally instrumental in the Yankees’ comeback bid. With the game hanging in the balance in the seventh inning, Verdugo stepped up to the plate and delivered a towering sacrifice fly, driving in the go-ahead run and sending the Yankee faithful into a frenzy. His calm demeanor under pressure and knack for delivering in clutch situations bode well for the team’s prospects moving forward.

Cabrera hammers homer for Yankees

But the heroics were not confined to the newcomers alone. Oswaldo Cabrera, thrust into the lineup due to an injury to DJ LeMahieu, seized the moment with a dramatic solo home run in the sixth inning, breathing new life into the Yankees’ offense and leveling the score at 4-4. His unexpected contribution served as a reminder of the team’s depth and resilience in the face of adversity.

Soto’s gloves win the game

Clay Holmes faced a tough situation while attempting to secure the save, finding himself with runners on first and second and only one out in the ninth inning. A sharp hit by Kyle Tucker into right field intensified the pressure, with the Astros aiming to equalize by sending Mauricio Dubon from third base. In a critical moment, Soto unleashed a pinpoint throw.

His throw was impeccable, resulting in Dubon being called out on the field. Despite the Astros challenging the call through a replay review, the ruling on the field was upheld after an extensive review process. The subsequent batter, Alex Bregman, grounded into a fielder’s choice, sealing the victory for the Yankees.

Yankees bullpen did a fantastic job

On the pitching front, the Yankees received solid performances from their bullpen, with Jonathan Loaisiga leading the way with two scoreless innings in relief. Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes also rose to the occasion, shutting down the Astros’ potent lineup in the late innings to preserve the hard-fought victory.

While the Astros certainly put up a valiant fight, ultimately it was the Yankees’ unwavering determination and never-say-die attitude that carried them to victory on opening day. As the final out was recorded and the cheers of the crowd reverberated throughout the stadium, it was clear that this win was more than just a single game—it was a statement of intent from a team with its sights set on championship glory.

The lineups

(Source: MLB)

Off the plate

  • As Cortes looked shaky, the Yankees got Nick Burdi to start throwing in the bullpen for the possibility of taking over early on. However, Cortes lasted for five innings.
  • The Yankees played the first game in new road uniforms, which were without “the dark blue and white trim on the sleeve as well as the white outline around the number and New York.”
  • Jon Berti couldn’t make it to the starting lineup as he arrived at 2 am and Boone let Cabrera to start.

The next

The Yankees vs. Astros game on Friday will see Carlos Rodon and Christian Javier taking positions on the mound. Austin Wells is set to start his first full season. The game starts at 8:10 p.m.

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