During the second inning, Cabrera ripped an 0-1 offering from New York right-hander Freddy Garcia to the left side of the infield. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was unable to corral the sharply-hit grounder, which deflected off his glove and bounced into left field for a single.
"In baseball," Cabrera said, "besides trying to hit the ball, you have to have luck, too."
Cabrera said he did not realize it was ruled a hit, and not an error, until he saw the ball being tossed back to the visiting dugout. With that base hit, the 36-year-old Cabrera became the 262nd player in baseball history to collect at least 2,000 hits in a career. He is the 17th active player to achieve the milestone.
Achieving that feat was admittedly on Cabrera's mind.
"I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't thinking about it," he said. "I really think I'm an honest guy. So I will not lie. I will not make up any story. Yeah, I was thinking about it a lot."
Cabrera's 2,000th hit came in the 1,913th game of his career, which has spanned 15 seasons and included stints with eight teams. Entering Sunday, Cabrera had hit .273 for his career during tours with the Expos, Angels, Twins, A's, Red Sox, White Sox, Reds and Indians.
"It means a lot," Cabrera said of the milestone. "I never started my career thinking, 'I'm going to get there,' or anything like that. I'm really, really happy that I'm still playing and was able to get to that number.
"If you look in the history of baseball, a lot of great hitters and guys that have won batting titles, unfortunately, they never got to play many years to get to that number. So to me, it's special."
Cleveland inked Cabrera to a one-year deal during Spring Training and handed him the Opening Day job at second base. The veteran infielder is hitting .242 with two home runs, eight doubles and 28 RBIs in 58 games this season for the Tribe.