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The New York Yankees got into the win column for the first time this season with a 5-4 Opening Day victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.

The Yankees were seemingly getting dominated early in the game, and they couldn’t get out of their own way in big situations. But they keep battling and wound up rallying in the middle innings to take the lead and then holding onto it thanks to an insane play by Juan Soto in the bottom of the ninth.

Here’s everything we know from the Yankees’s 5-4 victory over the Astros on Opening Day:

Keys to the game

  • Starter Nestor Cortes was shaky early, but he settled down. After giving up four earned runs in the first two innings, Nasty Nestor settled in to retire 12 of the final 13 batters he faced after giving up a solo home run to Astros center fielder Jake Meyers in the second inning.
  • The Yankees got a little help from Astros starter Framber Valdez and his six walks. The three-run fifth inning that sparked a rally in the fifth inning included three walks and a hit by pitch.
  • The Yankees left 10 runners on base and were 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Three times they ended an inning by grounding into a double play, two of which came with the bases loaded.
  • After allowing four runs in the first two innings, the Yankees went on to score five unanswered runs.

3 stars of the game

  1. OF Juan Soto: Not much more can be said. Soto logged his first base hit as a Yankee, an RBI single in the fifth inning that jump-started the rally. And how about that throw to save the game!?
  2. SS Anthony Volpe: The second-year shortstop looks like a different hitter in the box. His patient approach paid off as he reached base four times, three of which came via walks.
  3. The Bullpen: Cortes settled in to give the Yankees five decent innings, and the bullpen shut the door. A combination of Jonathan Loaisiga (two innings), Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes finished out the final four innings, allowing a combined eight hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts.

A resilient opener

Despite being down 4-0 and seemingly getting dominated in both phases of the game early, the Yankees rallied to stay in the game during the middle innings. Framber Valdez’s outing unraveled during the fifth inning where would exit the game before the end of the frame, responsible for allowing three runs. Even without the likes of Gerrit Cole and D.J. LeMahieu, it’s encouraging to see this team rally on the road against a formidable opponent.

Quick Hits

  • Anthony Volpe’s three walks were a single-game career high.
  • Volpe also is the second-youngest Yankee to reach base four times on Opening Day. (source)
  • Second time in Yankees history they came back from a deficit of at least four runs to win on Opening Day. (Katie Sharp)
  • Soto is the first Yankees outfielder to record an RBI and an outfield assist to home plate in an Opening Day game. (Katie Sharp)
  • Oswaldo Cabrera came through with a huge solo home run in the sixth inning to tie the game, keeping the momentum on the Yankees side.
  • Anthony Rizzo got hit on the hand/wrist area during the fifth inning but appeared to be fine.
  • Newcomer Alex Verdugo twice grounded out to end what could have been a big inning. However, he came through in the seventh inning to give the Yankees the lead with a sac fly to left field. He also made two really nice plays in the field.
  • Newly-acquired UTIL Jon Berti got to the team hotel at 2:00 a.m. after being traded to the Yankees so Aaron Boone thought it was best to let him get acclimated before putting him in the lineup.

The Yankees and Astros are back at it again Friday night with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.



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