BALTIMORE — Luis Severino had been fine for the most part this season, but he had yet to find his pre-injury All-Star form for an entire outing.
Until Monday night.
The righthander, who totaled only 18 regular-season innings in the previous three seasons because of a variety of injuries, was flat-out dominant in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over the Orioles in front of 12,228 at Camden Yards.
Severino, 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA in six starts coming in, allowed one run and one hit — the first of Anthony Santander’s two home runs — in six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
To Aaron Boone, whose first year as manager (2018) was Severino’s last All-Star season, this version of the pitcher, now 28, is even better. “I think there’s a more mature version in there, too,” Boone said. “He didn’t have a changeup like this, either. He was fastball-slider. And now he kind of varies from . . . he can go cutter, slider, even more into a curveball to go with the changeup he has a lot of confidence in. I feel like it’s maybe a more refined version to go with stuff he had when he was really good.”
On Monday, Severino was most pleased with his fastball command, which he said was “really good,” and his breaking balls and changeup, which he characterized as “outstanding.” He added, “When I can control my fastball and throw my breaking ball for a strike and also my changeup, I can be pretty good.”
Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green got the ball to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed Santander’s second homer of the night, which made it 6-2. Still, the pitchers’ efforts helped the Yankees improve upon the American League-best 2.74 ERA they brought into the game.
The Yankees (26-9) have won 19 of their last 22 (the three losses were by a total of four runs) and 21 of their last 25 (the four losses were by seven runs).
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the third on a two-out double to left-center by Giancarlo Stanton, (24 RBIs in his last 18 games).
Light-hitting catcher Jose Trevino struck the big blow, an opposite-field three-run homer off the rightfield foul pole in the fourth. It was his first homer of the season and the first hit by the catching position this season for the Yankees, the last team without a homer from its catcher.
“That was awesome,” Josh Donaldson said of Trevino’s homer, which made it 4-0. “Big spot for us right there.”
Donaldson (No. 5) and Anthony Rizzo (No. 10) went back-to-back in the ninth to make it 6-1. Rizzo hadn’t homered since April 29, when he hit his ninth of him in 20 games. In between the homers, he went 6-for-54.
The Yankees, who outhit the Orioles 11-3, had a scoring chance in the first against Kyle Bradish, but Joey Gallo struck out looking with the bases loaded.
The Orioles (14-22) threatened in the bottom half but were turned away. The inning started with leadoff man Cedric Mullins lifting one toward the leftfield line, and Gallo drifted over but saw the ball bang off his glove for a three-base error. Severino walked Trey Mancini but Gleyber Torres, ranging far to his left, made a diving catch of Santander’s broken-bat liner. Mancini took off for a second and was easily doubled off, and Ramon Urias grounded out.
Boone, like Mancini (apparently), didn’t think Torres had a shot at making the catch.
“Humanous. Play of the game, really,” Boone said. “From my vantage point, I didn’t even consider Gleyber making the play. . . I’m going ‘Oh, no.’ And out of nowhere Gleyber comes in and turns it into a double play, and then Sevy just took it from there.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism