Luis Severino was ineffective again as the Yankees‘ two-game winning streak was snapped after a 7-3 loss to the Astros on Friday night.
– Severino, coming off a start where he gave up nine runs on 10 hits against the Orioles, got off to a rough start when Jose Altuve led off the game with a first-pitch double. The righty would get the next two batters out, but after a walk to Kyle Tucker, Yainer Diaz launched a 377-foot blast to give the Astros an early 3-0 lead.
Severino now has a 13.85 ERA in the first inning, the highest among all pitchers this season with 10-plus starts.
It wouldn’t get much better for Severino in the second. After walking the first two batters, Altuve would load the bases with a one-out bloop single to right field. Severino would hit Alex Bregman with a pitch to push a run across but Houston wasn’t able to pick up more.
Yordan Alvarez led off the fifth with a solo shot over the left-center field wall which forced manager Aaron Boone to pull his starter. Another rough outing for Severino who pitched four-plus innings (87 pitches/56 strikes), giving up five runs on five hits, three walks while striking out four. His ERA rose to 7.74, which is the highest among all MLB pitchers this season with a minimum of 60 innings pitched.
– The game may have looked lop-sided but it could have been very different. In the bottom of the first, with the Yanks down 3-0, Billy McKinney drove a ball to deep center field but Jake Meyers slid feet first into the wall while making the difficult catch and saved at least two runs from scoring.
That was really the only trouble Hunter Brown had Friday night. The rookie went six innings giving up two runs (on two homers), on five hits one walk while striking out four. This is the 41st time an opposing starter has gone six-plus innings and allowed two runs or fewer against the Yanks this season, which is the most in baseball.
– The long ball was the Yankees’ friend on this night especially to left field. Jake Bauers got the team on the board with a solo shot in the third inning that barely hit the left field pole after going just 323 feet to cut the deficit to 4-1 at the time. Kyle Higashioka almost did the same in the fifth but it went just foul.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa went the opposite way in the fifth, however, to give the Yanks their second run on the utility man’s sixth homer of the season. Giancarlo Stanton went deep with a solo shot of his own in the eighth inning to give the Yankees their third run of the game. It’s also the slugger’s third straight game with a homer and his 10th in his last 21 games.
– With Severino’s short outing, Boone asked his bullpen to get a lot of outs and they really couldn’t keep the score close. In the sixth inning, Albert Abreu got into trouble and left with runners on first and second with two outs. Nick Ramirez would relieve him and after walking Alvarez to load the bases, Tucker unloaded a two-run double to give the Astros a 7-2 lead.
Keynan Middleton, the one trade deadline acquisition, made his team debut in the ninth inning. He got through a 1-2-3 inning and picked up his first Yankee strikeout.
– Boone sat Aaron Judge on Friday night after he DH’d four straight games. He may not have made a difference if he started with the way Severino put the team behind the eight ball, but it couldn’t have hurt to have the captain there. Judge did pinch-hit in the seventh inning with the team down 7-2 and two men on. He would strike out swinging on three pitches against Hector Neris. Judge is now 1-for-20 with one RBI in his career as a pinch hitter.
Stanton started as the DH and went 1-for-3 with a walk, that solo home run and one strikeout.
The Yankees continue their four-game series with the Astros on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m..
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