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Yankees 4, Mariners 3: Aaron Judge and Miguel Andujar crush home runs, Bombers sweep

The Yankees improve their record to 50-22, and are off to their fifth best start in franchise history.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Severino didn’t have his best stuff today, but the Yankees offense spotted him four runs in the first inning and the bullpen made it hold up. New York defeated Seattle 4-3 today at Yankee Stadium, sweeping the three-game series.

The Yankees jumped all over Seattle starter James Paxton immediately. Clint Frazier led off the home half of the first with a line-drive single, and Aaron Judge followed by launching Paxton’s 3-2 offering into the right-center field bleachers. All Rise now has 19 home runs and 50 RBI on the year.

There would have been back-to-back jacks, were it not for Mariners center fielder Mitch Haniger. Giancarlo Stanton blasted a towering drive to dead center, just to the right of the 408 foot sign. Haniger timed his leap perfectly, extending his glove over the wall to rob Stanton of a home run.

The Bombers weren’t done. After Didi struck out, Gleyber Torres lined a single to left. Miguel Andujar then crushed his 10th home run of the year, an opposite-field shot that landed about 10 seats to the left of the right-field foul pole. With the blast, Andujar became the seventh Bomber to reach double-digit dingers this season.

Seattle cut New York’s lead in half in the second inning. Nelson Cruz drew a five-pitch walk, and Kyle Seager made Severino pay for it by clubbing his 13th home run of the year.

The Mariners inched to within one run in the sixth and threatened to take the lead. Sevy gave up back-to-back singles with one out. Then, following a pop out, he coughed up an RBI-single, which moved the tying run to second. Manager Aaron Boone went to the bullpen to get out of the jam, and David Robertson obliged by retiring Mike Zunino on a fly out to end the frame.

New York’s bullpen saved the day once again. Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman combined to hurl 3 1/3 scoreless innings to nail down the win. Chapman notched his 22nd save in 23 opportunities.

Severino retired the side in the first, but labored for the remainder of the outing. The Mariners put pressure on Sevy all day, driving him from the game in the sixth with his pitch count at 107. All totaled, the Yankees ace gave up three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out five over 5 2/3 innings. Severino joined defending Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber as MLB’s only 11-game winners.

With the win, the Yankees improve their record to 50-22. This marks only the eighth time in franchise history that the club reached the 50-win plateau within the first 72 games. Only the 1927 (51-21), ‘28 (54-18), ‘39 and ‘98 (53-19) squads achieved better marks, while the 1932, ‘36, and ‘53 teams also started the season 50-22. The Yankees won the World Series in each of those years.

The Red Sox won today, so New York maintains its four-game loss-column lead in the AL East race. The Yankees boast a Major League-leading .694 winning percentage

Tomorrow night, the Yankees look to extend their winning streak to five games as they begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.30 ERA) starts against opener Ryne Stanek (1-1, 2.21 ERA), who usually pitches one or two innings before giving way to a long reliever. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM EDT.