His family and friends in Burbank cheered him on from home.
"It was awesome," Sanchez's mother, Michelle, said. "There was a lot of prayer. It was just unbelievable. It was nail-biting."
With his first two hits, Sanchez raised his average to .345. Cabrera was hitless in his first two at-bats against the Philadelphia Phillies and was pulled out of the game after it became apparent that he couldn't catch Sanchez.
"I just started crying," Michelle Sanchez said. "It was very emotional. He just never ceases to amaze us."
Michelle Sanchez said she didn't know what the batting championship meant until her husband, Fred, explained it to her last month.
But Freddy Sanchez wasn't focused on the personal accomplishment. Instead, he said what was most important to him was helping the Pirates succeed.
"He loves the sport," Fred Sanchez said.
"That's the main ingredient."
Sanchez is the first Pirate to win a batting crown since Bill Madlock won it in 1983.
In July, Sanchez was added to the 77th Major League All-Star Baseball Game at PNC Park after a first-half of the season in which he wasn't even supposed to be a starter.
But his hitting consistency earned him an everyday starting role in just his second full season in the majors.
Sanchez had 200 hits on the year, 53 of which were doubles — a Pirates record.
Michelle Sanchez recalled her son's season and life Sunday.
She remembered how Freddy was born with a clubbed right foot and a severely pigeon-toed left foot.
Even though doctors said they would be happy if Freddy was just able to walk when he grew up, he never let the condition wear on him.
"All I can say about that is there is so much power in prayer," Michelle Sanchez said.
"It's absolutely a miracle, from the time that doctors said that they didn't know that he would walk until now.
"You couldn't have asked for a better son, father, husband, person. He's just great."