New York Yankees' Oswaldo Cabrera is congratulated in the dugout...

New York Yankees' Oswaldo Cabrera is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Nick Sandlin in the sixth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/David Dermer

CLEVELAND — Oswaldo Cabrera, among the Yankees’ hottest hitters to start the season, found himself on the bench throughout their previous series against the Marlins. Jon Berti received the start at third base in each of those games as the Marlins started three lefthanders. Now Cabrera seems intent on not riding the bench again for a stretch like that anytime soon.

The switch hitter, generally better from the left side, returned to the lineup Saturday for Game 1 of a split doubleheader against the Guardians and righthander Carlos Carrasco. His two-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Yankees a three-run cushion in a 3-2 win in front of a crowd of 17,089 at Progressive Field.

There was no such drama in the nightcap. The Yankees, led by Juan Soto’s three-run homer and, yes, another RBI hit by Cabrera, completed the sweep with an 8-2 victory, this one in front of 31,066.

“Not an easy thing to do,” Aaron Boone said of sweeping a doubleheader. “Especially when you spend the whole day here . . . to walk out of here with two is definitely nice, with an opportunity to have a great weekend tomorrow.”

The Yankees are 12-3, matching the best start in franchise history through 15 games. They’ve accomplished that seven times and hadn’t done it since 2003. The Guardians are 9-5.

Cabrera went 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 1 and 1-for-5 with an RBI double in Game 2. He is hitting .317 with three homers and a .963 OPS in 11 games.

The news after Game 1 that Berti had been placed on the injured list with a left groin strain all but assures Cabrera of being the everyday third baseman — or at least the primary one — until DJ LeMahieu returns.

“Obviously, I feel sad about it because we know the things Berti can do for us,” Cabrera said. “But I’ve been working. I’ll be ready any time.”

The Yankees were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base in Game 1, with Trent Grisham grounding into bases-loaded double plays with none out in the second and one out in the fourth.

Game 2 was no contest as the Yankees scored twice in the first inning — on an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo and a bases-loaded walk by Giancarlo Stanton — and four times in the fourth. Soto’s third homer of the season, a three-run shot, highlighted the inning. The blast was preceded by Anthony Volpe’s RBI single.

“It starts with good at-bat after good at-bat,” Aaron Judge said. “Really sticking to our plan the whole game.”

Clarke Schmidt earned the Game 1 win, allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits in five innings-plus. Schmidt, especially pleased with his cutter and curve, struck out seven but walked five.

Cody Poteet, a righthander brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the club’s 27th man for the doubleheader, was terrific in his Yankees debut as he pitched in a big-league game for the first time since July 16, 2022, when he was with the Marlins. Poteet, who underwent Tommy John surgery about a month after that game, allowed one run, on a homer by former Yankee Estevan Florial, and six hits in six innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

“Super-meaningful. Priceless. Amazing,” said Poteet, 29, who found out Friday afternoon that he would be starting and arrived at the team hotel around midnight. “Experienced something I would have dreamt of as a kid playing wiffle ball in the backyard, so it was a super-fun night. Very thankful.”

Cabrera’s third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning of Game 1 off righthander Nick Sandlin, was the biggest hit of the afternoon, as it gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Schmidt, Caleb Ferguson, Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes made it stand up (barely).

Ferguson replaced Schmidt after Steven Kwan and Andres Gimenez opened the sixth with singles, and a sloppy throwing error by Gleyber Torres on what should have been an inning-ending double play allowed two runs to score and brought the Guardians within 3-2. But Ferguson allowed no further damage and Hamilton provided a two-inning bridge to closer Holmes with a scoreless outing.

Holmes, who already had walked his share of tightropes this season, allowed a leadoff double off the leftfield wall by Ramon Laureano before striking out Bo Naylor swinging and Florial looking and getting Brayan Rocchio to ground to second for his sixth save in seven outings.

The full-count pitch to Florial appeared inside. But Jose Trevino, among the best framers in the game, stole the strike, causing the typically easygoing Florial to nearly get ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker.

“A lot,” Trevino said of the pride he takes in pitch-framing. “I want to get as many strikes as possible every single time.”

Did Holmes think he had strike three on the full-count slider to Florial? “To be honest, every pitch that Trevi catches, I think I have,” he said. “It’s tough for me to tell, just because he catches them so well. He’s really good back there . . . I’m glad to have him back there for sure.”

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