The Yankees’ best arm and a big bat finish off another series win
With one-fourth of the season complete, there are several things to like about the Yankees.
They are tied for first place in the AL East with the Red Sox and share the best record in the majors with their blood rivals. Aaron Judge has spit in the face of the sophomore jinx. The rotation has been better than expected and the bullpen as good as advertised. Aaron Boone is comfortable in his skin.
Yet, the one thing that stands out above the rest is Luis Severino using the first seven weeks of the season to establish himself as a serious AL Cy Young candidate, if not the favorite.
The flamethrowing right-hander pitched the Yankees past the A’s, 6-2, Sunday afternoon in front of 40,530 at Yankee Stadium, where the game was delayed two hours and 45 minutes due to rain.
The victory was the 28-12 Yankees’ 19th in 22 games and allowed them to finish a 7-2 homestand against the Indians, Red Sox and A’s.
Severino gave up a run and five hits in six innings. He fanned seven and walked two to improve to 6-1 and lower his ERA to 2.14. The only inning Severino struggled was the fifth, when he gave up a run, three hits and stranded two.
Giancarlo Stanton supported Severino by going 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. His broken-bat double in the seventh was Stanton’s 999th career hit. Stanton had hit his 10th homer of the season in the fifth to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
Chad Green replaced Severino and worked a perfect seventh. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless eighth and Chasen Shreve recorded the final three outs with a little extra effort after yielding a home run, putting two men on and forcing a popout to Gary Sanchez to end it.
Judge went 2-for-4 and drove in the final run with a single in the eighth.
The Yankees upped the lead to 5-1 in the seventh, when Judge opened with a walk, went to third on Stanton’s double and scored on Aaron Hicks’ grounder that forced Sanchez at second.
After the A’s cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-1 in the fifth, Stanton sent a 2-1 pitch into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center. Stanton’s 10th homer hiked his RBI total to 26.
Jonathan Lucroy opened the A’s fifth with a single to center and moved to second on Marcus Semien’s one-out single to left-center. After Matt Joyce took an 0-2 fastball clocked at 97 mph right down the middle for the second out, Jed Lowrie singled to right, where Judge unleashed a strong and accurate throw to the plate. Sanchez didn’t come up with the short hop and Lucroy scored. Because Severino didn’t back up the play, Semien moved to third. Khris Davis gave the Yankees a scare by sending Hicks to the edge of the warning track in center for the final out.
A’s starter Brett Anderson allowed the first four Yankees to reach base before registering an out in the opening inning.
Brett Gardner led off with an infield single in front of Judge’s opposite-field double to right. With runners on second and third, Didi Gregorius walked and loaded the bases. Stanton’s single to center scored Gardner and Judge for a 2-0 lead.
Sanchez took some air out of the potentially big inning by banging into a 6-4-3 double play that moved Gregorius to third. Hicks’ two-out single on a 3-2 pitch plated Gregorius and gave Severino an early 3-0 advantage.
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