NEW YORK -- As the Yankees continue to try to chip away at Boston's lead in the American League East standings, the team has recently been unable to rely on its ace for quality starts.Luis Severino exited New York's 10-5 loss to the Royals in the first game of Saturday's
NEW YORK -- As the Yankees continue to try to chip away at Boston's lead in the American League East standings, the team has recently been unable to rely on its ace for quality starts.
Luis Severino exited New York's 10-5 loss to the Royals in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at Yankee Stadium after tossing just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits to record his fourth loss of the year. It was the first time in the young right-hander's career that he has allowed at least six runs in back-to-back starts, and his fourth consecutive start of the season lasting fewer than six frames.
"I don't know what's the issue, but I will make sure I will look at what's going on," Severino said. "I've been through this in the past, so I just need to work on stuff that's not working and try to be myself again."
In his final two starts prior to the All-Star break, Severino's ERA rose from 1.98 to 2.31, which the Yankees attributed to his rising workload, but the struggles have continued. In four starts since July 7, the righty has allowed 19 earned runs on 33 hits, including seven home runs in 19 1/3 innings.
"He's been lights-out for us all year, it's easy to forget that he's human and that he's going to go through some starts maybe where it's not all there," catcher Austin Romine said. "It's weird, but he's a competitor, so I'm sure we'll fix this and clean this up quick."
Rosell Herrera knocked in two off Severino on a double to right in the third inning. With one out in the fifth, Salvador Perez hit a two-run single and Lucas Duda followed with a two-run homer that chased the Yankees starter out of the game. Severino handed the ball over to Adam Warren, who induced two flyouts to end the frame with the Royals leading, 6-0.
"We got to find the right adjustments in there to help him get back on track," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I thought again early today, and even with talking to [Romine] coming in those first couple innings, I thought he was crisp. Stuff-wise, command-wise, it looked like he was back. It seemed like he just kind of got out of sorts there and lost his command, especially with the fastball a little bit, and got hurt with some pitches right on the plate. This is a bump in the season for him, but he has everything to right the ship, and we got to find those little adjustments he can make and get him rolling again."
The Yankees offense put on a charge starting in the fifth with a monster, two-run blast from Giancarlo Stanton off Royals starter Brad Keller, who permitted four runs on nine hits through 5 2/3 innings.
Neil Walker -- as part of a three-hit afternoon -- plated Gleyber Torres on an RBI single to right and a run scored as Romine grounded into a double play in the fifth, before the Bombers' attempt at a comeback was halted in the seventh. With a runner on first and no outs, Torres launched a double into right field to score the run, but was thrown out trying to get to third on the throw to the plate.
"[Torres] put himself in a good position because he could see the play and when he saw the overthrow, he took off, which was a mistake, obviously," Boone said. "In that situation there with no outs and us kind of coming back in that spot, that definitely hurt and was definitely a mistake. I like the fact that he was in position to make a read, but it wasn't the right read."
"In that moment, I think I got an opportunity to go to third base and be a little closer to the run," Torres said. "But it was a bad decision in that moment."
The Royals received some extra cushion in the eighth when Brian Goodwin took Player Page for David Robertson to the second deck in right field for a three-run blast and a sacrifice fly by Duda in the ninth extended Kansas City's lead, 10-5.
Severino's loss marked his first in 11 starts at Yankee Stadium this season. The Yankees had won each of his prior 14 regular-season starts in the Bronx since Sept. 3, 2017.
Carsten Sabathia (6-4, 3.51 ERA) will get the ball in Game 2 of the doubleheader against the Royals at Yankee Stadium (7:05 p.m. ET). The left-hander will be working on extra rest after two rainouts pushed back both of his scheduled starts. Sabathia took a no-decision in his final outing before the All-Star break, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Tribe. Right-hander Heath Fillmyer (0-1, 2.82) will take the mound for the Royals.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.