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Yankees 7, Indians 4: Luis Severino struggled, but the offense picked him up

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Luis Severino didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but luckily neither did Corey Kluber.

MLB: New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

This was supposed to be a pitchers’ duel, so naturally nothing went as expected. Instead, Luis Severino and Corey Kluber both gave up plenty of hits (and runs). Every time the Indians took the lead, the Yankees tied the game up, and vice versa. This went on until the eighth inning when the Bombers took the lead and never looked back.

Severino got off to an uncharacteristic start. He hadn’t surrendered more than one run in the first inning of a game all season, but that changed tonight. Cleveland jumped all over him right away. Francisco Lindor lead off with a double off the bottom of the right field wall, Michael Brantley moved him over to third, and Jose Ramirez followed with an RBI. The Indians added another run after Edwin Encarnacion deposited a ball in the left field seats.

Early on, Sevy just wasn’t generating swings and misses like he generally does, and was leaving pitches up. He made it through the second inning without trouble, but Cleveland got back to work in the third. One walk and two singles put the Indians back on top.

Luckily for Severino, the Bombers picked him up. Brett Gardner hit a two-run home run just over the right field wall in the third inning to tie up the game. Cleveland quickly regained the lead, but Didi Gregorius tied it up again in the fourth with a leadoff dinger. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a single, and Aaron Hicks dropped a sacrifice bunt. Yan Gomes fired the ball to second base to try and get Bird, but the ball carried into the outfield allowing Bird to take third. Kluber walked Miguel Andujar to load the bases with zero outs, and the Yankees had a chance to crack the game wide open. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Instead, Austin Romine struck out, and Neil Walker lined into a double play.

Failing to add any runs with the bases loaded quickly came back to bite the Yankees. Severino settled down and made it through the fourth without issue, but Cleveland tied things up in the fifth with a solo shot off the bat of Jose Ramirez. For just the third time this season, Sevy didn’t make it into the sixth inning. He exited with just one strikeout, nine hits, and 94 pitches across five innings.

The Yankees were forced to turn to their bullpen early, but the Indians kept Kluber out there well into the 8th inning because their ‘pen is so bad. After Gregorius walked on four straight pitches, Hicks battled before finally hitting an RBI to deep center field to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. That was enough to finally chase Kluber from the game. With Bird batting, Hicks swiped third base, then came home on a sac fly. The Yankees tacked on their final run in the ninth when Gardner launched his second home run of the night off of the right field foul pole.

Thankfully, the Yankees don’t share Cleveland’s bullpen woes. Adam Warren, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman each tossed a scoreless inning to close out the game. This was Chapman’s first appearance since he was removed from the Toronto game, and he looked fine out there.

They’ll be back at it tomorrow for game two at 7:10 ET. Domingo German will square off against Shane Bieber on YES.