Lucas Duda’s towering home run to right field had barely landed in the seats when the curtain of boos rolled toward the pitcher’s mound in the first of a two-gate doubleheader Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Luis Severino, who started the day tied for the major league lead in victories, was the intended receiver of the boos as Duda rounded the bases and helped the Royals to a 10-5 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 46,571.
When Aaron Boone strolled to the mound to remove Severino, the booing subsided but the damage was done and the All-Star right-hander’s slide hit four games. In 19 1/3 innings during that stretch, Severino is 1-2, allowed 33 hits (seven homers) and has an 8.85 ERA.
Prior to the Yankees’ ninth loss in the past 18 games, Boone was hopeful Severino was ready to leave the slump behind him. Instead, the staff ace was rocked for six runs, eight hits in four-plus innings – his shortest outing of the season – when at times the Royals appeared to know what was coming. The stinker followed a five-inning outing against the Rays this past Monday when he gave up seven runs (six earned) and 11 hits.
“Prior to his last start his stuff was a little bit down, not as crisp, maybe the velocity a tick down and just not sharp overall by his standards,’’ Boone said. “In the last start I thought the stuff returned a little bit, but he didn’t have the great slider and he made some mistakes with that pitch and he got hurt. I think it is a little lack of crispness. I would expect him to go out and have that sharpness that started to come back in his last start.’’
Rosell Herrera was a pain in Severino’s neck. He doubled home two runs in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth. Duda’s two-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth that stretched the Royals’ lead to 6-0. Brian Goodwin’s three-run homer in the eighth off David Robertson sealed the win for the visitors.
Playing for the first time with Aaron Judge on the DL, Giancarlo Stanton made up for the missing muscle with a 447-foot homer in the fifth inning.
Stanton’s 24th blast hit an awning high above the center-field wall and cut the deficit to 6-2. Gleyber Torres and Greg Bird (shift-beating bunt to third) started the sixth with singles and Neil Walker’s single to right plated Torres. Austin Romine grounded into a double play as Bird score to make it 6-4.
Torres’ seventh-inning double scored Didi Gregorius from first and cut the Royals’ lead to 6-5. However, Torres was an easy out at third when he attempted to take the base on the throw went home.
Adam Warren’s 2 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Severino presented the Yankees with a chance to chip into the six-run deficit. But with the Yankees trailing by a run in the top of the eighth, Robertson gave up a three-run homer to Goodwin that reached the second deck in right field and hiked the Royals’ lead to 9-5.
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