Oswaldo Cabrera’s big hit proves vital as Yankees knock out Orioles 2-0

Oswaldo Cabrera of the Yankees celebrates after hitting a two-run homer against the Orioles in Baltimore on May 1, 2024.
Sara Molnick
Thursday May 2, 2024

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The New York Yankees offense, desperate for a spark after mustering only two solo homers and 12 hits over the previous two games, found their hero in Oswaldo Cabrera on Wednesday night.

On a blistering early-season form, Oswaldo Cabrera emerged as the offensive catalyst in the fifth inning, launching a two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole against Baltimore’s ace, Corbin Burnes. This clutch hit drove in Jose Trevino and provided the Yankees with their only runs of the game.

The blast was a welcome sight for Oswaldo Cabrera, who had been struggling at the plate in the last few games. Before this game, he had gone hitless in seven at-bats in the series. However, this key homer marked his first since April 13. Despite the earlier slump, Oswaldo Cabrera boasts a solid overall batting average of .262, with an on-base percentage of .300 and a slugging percentage of .417 through 110 plate appearances. He has also contributed 18 RBIs and stolen two bases this season.

This victory held immense significance for the Yankees. It prevented them from dropping the first three games of the crucial series against the top two teams in the AL East – the Baltimore Orioles. Winning with their number five starter on the mound further emphasizes the importance of this victory. The 2-0 win allowed the Yankees to reclaim a tie with the Orioles for the coveted first-place position in the division.

Oswaldo Cabrera helps Yankees burn ace Burnes


The New York Yankees, facing a daunting 2-0 series deficit and a matchup with Baltimore ace Corbin Burnes was another challenge for the team. Burnes, a former Cy Young Award winner and rumored offseason target for the Yankees was one of the game’s best with a reputation as a “bulldog” on the mound.

Oswaldo Cabrera, who was batting ninth and playing third base, however, stemmed his juggernaut in the fifth inning. Facing a first-pitch cutter from Burnes, he lined a drive toward the right-field corner at Camden Yards. The ball initially lost sight of Oswaldo Cabrera himself as he rounded first base, and stayed just inside the right-field foul pole for a two-run home run. A replay confirmed the blast, his fourth of the season.  

This clutch hit plated Jose Trevino, who had singled earlier in the inning, and provided the Yankees with their only runs of the game. It also propelled Oswaldo Cabrera into a tie for second on the Yankees with 18 RBIs, matching Aaron Judge and trailing only Juan Soto‘s team-leading 25.

Reflecting on the home run, Oswaldo Cabrera described his initial confidence in hitting the ball solidly but his subsequent confusion as he lost track of it. Initially, he was surprised because he couldn’t see the ball that got stuck while running toward first base. The sight of the ball finally reaching the foul pole brought a sense of satisfaction.

“The moment that I hit the ball, I knew that I hit it really well,” he said after the game. “But I didn’t know where the ball was. If you saw me running to first, I was like, ‘Where’s the ball?’ So when I looked there and I see the ball just getting to the foul pole, it feels great. I was so surprised because I didn’t know [the ball got stuck]. All the guys were looking up in the pole. ‘It’s still there.’”

Oswaldo Cabrera’s performance was particularly impressive considering his recent slump. He entered the series hitless in his first seven at-bats and was batting a lowly .147 over his previous nine games. However, this go-ahead homer showcased his ability to step up in a big moment.  

Manager Aaron Boone acknowledged Oswaldo Cabrera’s recent struggles but praised his professionalism and work ethic, especially for a young player. He pointed out that the Yankees’ utility star consistently delivers value to the team, particularly when batting lower in the lineup. On Wednesday night, against a top pitcher, Oswaldo Cabrera’s offensive contribution proved to be the difference for the Yankees.

Oswaldo Cabrera knew Gil was going big


A premonition of brilliance and a dominant performance on the mound propelled the New York Yankees to victory on Wednesday night. Oswaldo Cabrera, teammate of rookie pitcher Luis Gil, sensed something special was brewing when he saw Gil on the team bus.

He noticed a shift in Gil’s usual demeanor. Gone was his typically jovial personality, replaced by a focused and serious expression. This change left Oswaldo Cabrera with a strong feeling that Gil was primed for a standout performance.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s intuition proved to be eerily accurate. Gil’s dominant outing had Yankees fans cheering while Orioles fans lamented as he exited the mound.

Gil outperformed the Orioles’ ace, surrendering just two hits over a career-high 6 1/3 innings pitched. He threw a total of 95 pitches and struck out five batters, further solidifying his impressive outing. This display lowered his ERA to a commendable 3.19.

Manager Aaron Boone echoed the praise for Gil, highlighting the effectiveness of his pitches and his ability to navigate through the Orioles’ lineup with ease. Boone particularly commended Gil’s execution, a key factor in the Yankees’ victory.

Adding to the significance of Gil’s performance was his control. He issued only one walk, setting a new personal best for him this season. This display of control, coupled with his laser focus, allowed Gil to silence the Orioles’ offense and secure a crucial win for the Yankees.

Holmes slams door shut, seals Yankees’ win


The New York Yankees secured a narrow victory on Wednesday night thanks to a dominant showing from their pitching staff and a clutch save from closer Clay Holmes.

While the bullpen shut down the Orioles’ offense entirely, a brief scare arose in the eighth inning. Starter Ian Hamilton encountered some control issues, issuing a walk and hitting a batter. This prompted manager Aaron Boone to turn to reliable closer Clay Holmes.

Holmes stepped in and secured the victory, allowing only one hit and striking out three batters over 1.2 scoreless innings. This impressive display capped off a stellar outing by the Yankees’ pitching staff, which collectively held the Orioles to a mere three hits with no runs scored.

Holmes’ performance was particularly noteworthy for several reasons. He notched three strikeouts for the first time this season, and his 1.2 innings pitched marked his longest outing of the campaign. Most remarkably, he has yet to allow a single earned run through a total of 15 innings pitched. This stellar performance adds to his impressive 10 saves, which ties him for the Major League Baseball lead.

Boone’s decision to utilize Holmes in the eighth inning contrasted with his strategy during Friday’s extra-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Many questioned Boone’s choice to not extend Holmes’ outing then, considering his consistent effectiveness. Boone had defended his decision by citing workload concerns and the early stage of the season.

However, Wednesday’s game against a divisional rival called for a more aggressive approach to managing the bullpen. Boone understood the critical nature of the situation – facing the top of the Orioles’ lineup with the game on the line and runners on base and brought out Holmes, who did exactly what his manager and the Yankees’ fans wanted.

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