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Yankees 4, Tigers 1: Sevy shutdown

The right-hander put forth his second-straight excellent effort and the offense backed him up.

Luis Severino in the first inning tonight.
Luis Severino in the first inning tonight.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees started off their quest to win their first series in 11 attempts on the right foot. Coming off a good start against the Nationals to break up an ugly run, Luis Severino followed with his best outing of the year, and despite striking out 16 times, the Bombers provided him with enough offense in a performance that included back-to-back homers.

New York loaded the bases in the first inning on two walks and an error but ultimately failed to capitalize on Detroit’s miscues, registering three strikeouts in the frame. The last strikeout came on an Anthony Volpe sword against a nasty slider from Reese Olson. In fact, the first eight outs that he recorded all came via the strikeout. On the night, the rookie righty put up a career-high 10 punchouts, but those — in addition to four walks — required a lot of pitches, and Olson was done just one out into the fifth inning.

The fourth free pass, in the form of Aaron Judge, came around to score on the Gleyber Torres double that knocked Olson out of the game:

This came just a half-inning after Torres made a sparkling play in the field:

Isiah Kiner-Falefa also helped out Sevy with a nice running catch early in the game, but he did pull up on a catchable flyball that ended up being the second Zach McKinstry triple of the game. He failed to score both times though, with Volpe gunning him down at home on McKinstry’s second attempt:

Severino allowed just three other hits (one a Miguel Cabrera liner that “kissed” the top of Sevy’s glove) and K’ed eight in seven scoreless innings.

Sevy notched 15 whiffs on the night with 12 coming on his heater, a season-high and an especially promising indicator given that he hadn’t piled up more than even six whiffs on the pitch in more than a month. The Tigers have a lousy lineup, sure, but Severino has faltered against equally poor offenses like the White Sox this season. Even if the longtime Yankee departs via free agency after this year, it would be nice to see him put together a solid run to end the season, and his last two starts could be the beginning of that stretch.

The Yankees provided their starter with a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh for good measure. Judge and Torres went back-to-back, over the left field wall, on inside changeups from Beau Briske:

One more run came around in the top of the eight. IKF led off with a hard grounder that Matt Vierling couldn’t corral, Volpe moved him over with a groundout that initially bounced off the pitcher Cisnero, and Oswaldo Cabrera drove him home with a single to center:

Jonathan Loáisiga came on in relief of Severino for the eighth, showcasing his hard changeup and tossing a perfect inning with the help of some more sterling defense:

Next up, Clay Holmes looked shaky again and lost the shutout by giving up a homer to pinch-hitter Akil Baddoo on a hanging slider. He allowed another hit before notching a double play and a Cabrera strikeout to end the game.

The Yankees can guarantee at least a series split with a win tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm ET once again, with opener Michael King facing off against another high-strikeout youngster in Tarik Skubal.

Box Score