Aaron Boone was talking Wednesday afternoon about Luis Severino continuing to cement himself as an ace. At this point, the status should be without question.
No matter the opponent, Severino keeps dealing. He stifled the Astros once again Wednesday night in the Bronx, striking out 11 in seven innings in helping the Yankees win the game, 5-3, and take the rubber game of the series.
Severino, who allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, is tied for the American League lead with eight wins and has a 2.31 ERA through 12 starts. The Yankees (35-17) are 11-1 when Severino starts. He was dominant with his slider all night, with eight of his strikeouts coming with the slider in the high 80s and looked unhittable through three innings with seven strikeouts before Jose Altuve singled with two outs in the fourth.
“Stuff, command, I thought that was as good as he was almost with his shutout against Houston,” Boone said of Severino. “He’s been good since then, but I thought today he was really sharp, really crisp, ran into a little bit of trouble and that’s why he couldn’t even go deeper, and credit to them, I thought they made work there in the sixth and seventh there a little bit, but I thought overall, he was really good. Mixed in some changeups along with the fastball/slider combination that I felt like he had pretty dialed in from the get-go.”
Severino, who threw a shutout in Houston on May 2, out-dueled Dallas Keuchel, who the Yanks have now beaten three straight times, including Game 5 of last year’s ALCS. Keuchel was tagged for four runs in five-plus innings and fell to 3-7 overall this season.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The Yankees might’ve had a big inning in the first if not for Jake Marisnick robbing Giancarlo Stanton of a hit with a diving grab in center field. Stanton made the first out of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Gary Sanchez singled through the shift between first and second base to drive in two runs and give the Yanks a 3-2 lead after Max Stassi had hit a two-run homer in the top half of the inning.
STAR OF THE GAME
Severino, who has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his 12 starts and tied a season-high with his 11 strikeouts.
STAT OF THE DAY
9: Severino is undefeated in his last nine starts and has a 1.95 ERA over that stretch.
Aaron Hicks, who led off the first with a walk and scored on Stanton’s sac fly and drove in Austin Romine in the sixth with a double.
Tyler Austin walked away with a golden sombrero, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
Thursday, May 31 at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.