After spending eight seasons in the minor leagues, Yangervis Solarte was told that he would be on the Opening Day roster for the New York Yankees in 2014.
Solarte had a fantastic spring for the Yankees in Tampa, batting .429 in 42 at-bats for the Yankees.
On Thursday evening, Solarte was put in the starting lineup for the first time in his career at the major league level, and in his first at-bat of the night, he knocked a single off of Astros starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer. The ball was tossed into the visiting dugout for Solarte to treasure.
In his second at-bat, Solarte stretched a base hit into a double, showing his capability to fly around the bases.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-out double into the gap, and up to the plate stepped Solarte again, this time with the opportunity to expand his team's slim 3-2 lead.
Solarte also showed his discipline at the plate in that at-bat, fouling off pitches and working a full count off of Astros reliever Brad Peacock.
The Yankees have struggled to produce with runners in scoring position early on, and when the rookie hit a high fly between home plate and the pitcher's mound, it looked as if New York would strand another runner. What happened next will likely never be forgotten by Solarte.
Houston catcher Carlos Corporan threw off his mask and tried to settle under the ball, until miscommunication with his pitcher and third baseman caused the ball to drop without being touched.
Since no one technically attempted to field the routine pop-up, the play was ruled a hit, and Solarte had his first major league run batted in.
With the hit, Solarte improved to 3-3 on the night, as he continues to look like a player with a lot of experience at the major league level.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com got a kick out of the gaffe as well.
Ah, there are the Astros we've heard about. Yangervis Solarte will surely be OK with an RBI single on a pop-up to the mound.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 4, 2014
If Solarte can continue to play with confidence and produce for the Yankees, New York will have a very dangerous threat on the bench. He brings added depth to the Yankee bench, which is something they were lacking last season.
In his fourth and final at-bat in the top of the ninth inning, Solarte worked a two-out walk.
While a player's first RBI is always a memorable achievement, it was especially memorable for Solarte because of the way it happened.