Soto & Yanks Start Season with 4-Game Sweep of Astros. NY 4 Houston 3

Juan Soto with the game-winning RBI single with 2 outs in top of 9th.

Juan Soto knocked in the winning run in the top of the 9th with a Clutch 2-out, RBI single, and Alex Verdugo made a spectacular sliding catch in left for the final out of the game with the tying run on 2nd — as the Yankees completed a 4-game sweep of the Astros in Houston to begin the season.

NY 4 Houston 3 on an Easter Sunday afternoon.

Manager Aaron Boone pushed all the right buttons, including putting Jon Berti at 3rd base, even after Oswaldo Cabrera was red hot the first 3 games. Cabrera instead played shortstop with Anthony Volpe out with a stomach illness.

Berti got a clutch 2-out hit to plate the Yankees’ 2nd run in the 4th and then in the 9th made a tremendous play down 3rd to nab a line drive and make it an out by touching 3rd with 1st and 2nd nobody out. Yordan Alvarez then hit a bomb to center that Aaron Judge tracked down a foot from the 399-foot sign. And then came Verdugos sliding catch to end it. A Clay Holmes agita save. PHEW.

“Wild night,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “We just got to keep going. But definitely any time you get a sweep on the road, especially against a great opponent it’s a little extra sweet.”

NY improves to 4-0. Houston falls to 0-4.

1. Trevino Clutch 2-Out Hit Puts NY Up 1-0

The Yankees jumped on top in the top of the 2nd against Astro starter J.P. France. Giancarlo Stanton led off the inning with a double to left, moved to 3rd on a fly ball to center by Alex Verdugo, and scored on a clutch, 2-out bloop single to right by Jose Trevino.

2. Berti Clutch 2-Out Hit Puts NY Up 2-0

After Houston tied the score on a Jose Altuve 341-foot homer in the bottom of the 3rd, NY broke back on top in the top of the 4th with an Anthony Rizzo leadoff double, and then — after 2 strikeouts — a clutch 2-out, RBI single by Berti.

3. Judge Sac Fly Puts NY Up 3-1

NY put another run on the board in the top of the 5th — Oswaldo Cabrera led off with a walk, Gleyber Torres hit into a fielder’s choice putting him on base instead.

Juan Soto singled Gleyber to 3rd, and with 1 out, Aaron Judge hit a fly ball to the wall in right center for a clutch sac fly and 3-1 Yankee lead.

4. Schmidt Pitched Well

Clarke Schmidt pitched well against the tough Houston lineup loaded with good lefty hitters. Schmidt had a 3-1 lead through 5 innings and his pitch count was in the 60s.

But Schmidt got in trouble in the 6th.

Jose Altuve led off with a double, but Schmidt got tough lefty Yordan Alvarez to fly out. Lefty Kyle Tucker doubled in Altuve to make it a 3-2 game and Schmidt was gone — relieved by Jonathan Loaisiga.

5. Loaisiga Gets In and Out of Trouble

Loaisiga got Alex Bregman to ground out to 1st, but with 2 outs, Yainer Diaz singled in the tying run making it 3-3.

Loaisiga then allowed a single to Jon Singleton, and an infield single to Chas McCormick to load the bases with 2 outs — but got Jeremy Pena to ground out to 1st to end the threat. PHEW.

Loaisiga got the 1st out of the 7th in a 3-3 tie, then walked Altuve and was relieved by Caleb Ferguson. Ferguson struck out Yordon Alvarez, walked Tucker to put 1st and 2nd, 2 out — but got Alex Bregman to ground out to 1st. PHEW again.

6. Soto Clutch 2-Out Hit Puts NY Up 4-3

The Yanks faced Houston ace relieve Josh Hader in the top of the 9th of a 3-3 game. Hader got the first 2 batters, but with 2 outs, Gleyber Torres singled, then stole 2nd base.

Juan Soto then ripped a 3-2 pitch — a 96-MPH sinker — to left for a Clutch, RBI single for a 4-3 Yankee lead.

7. Verdugo Game Saving Catch

And then a Clay Holmes agita 9th.

Leadoff singles by Jeremy Pena and Victor Caratini put 1st and 2nd nobody out.

Altuve hit a SHOT down 3rd but Jon Berti Speared it down the line — got up and ran to 3rd — stepping on the bag for an out!

Yordon Alvarez then hit a DEEP DRIVE TO CENTERFIELD that looked like it was the game — but Judge settled under it by the wall at the 399-foot mark for an out.

2 outs.

Kyle Tucker hit a line drive to left for the Houston win — but Alex Verdugo made a spectacular game-saving, sliding catch for the old ballgame and Yankee Win!

The Boxscore


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