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Luis Severino’s return was worth the wait.
The Yankees right-hander, making his first start in more than two months, looked sharp in five innings Wednesday night in a 14-2 win over the Bronx Pirates.
Still racking up his workload after making three starts in rehab, Severino, who was on the disabled list with a stretched right lat, threw 64 effective pitches while giving up a run on two hits and a walk. , with six strikeouts.
“I was just happy to be back with the team, to finally come back and help in any way I could,” Severino said. “I feel really good. I feel confident and ready to make a fresh start.
The schedule will allow Severino to make two more regular season starts, against the Blue Jays and Orioles, after which he should be almost fully prepared for the playoffs.
The Yankees need Severino to deliver more of what he flashed Wednesday night to give them a better chance of making a deep playoff run. The 28-year-old would likely serve as a starter for Game 2 or 3 of a series.
“I liked what I saw tonight,” said Aaron Judge. “He’s a bulldog on the mound and he’s definitely going to be a big chunk in the stretch.”
Severino, who hadn’t pitched since July 13, lowered his ERA for the season to 3.36.
“Wow, I thought he was awesome,” manager Aaron Boone said. “As good as he’s been this year, I thought he might have been the best fastball he’s had all year. … I thought he was really sharp. Things were there and he looked strong and healthy.
Severino didn’t show many signs of rust. He came out shooting and his four-seam fastball peaked at 98.9mph while averaging 97.2mph – up 1.1mph from his season average.
“I had 60 days to rest, so it was a bit better,” said Severino, who had repeatedly stressed that he was upset about being transferred to the 60-day IL, with a smile. .
Severino threw a first base on Oneil Cruz to start the game before second batter Bryan Reynolds hit a fielder’s pick when Josh Donaldson was late to cover second base on a ground fly in the quarter of work. That put the runners up first and second, but Severino tied himself in. He hit Rodolfo Castro looking and brought Ben Gamel to the ground in a double play.
The Pirates didn’t get another base runner until the fourth inning, when Castro and Gamel hit back-to-back singles. Ke’Bryan Hayes then put them on the board with a sacrifice fly that made it 4-1.
But Severino ended his night in style, pitching a six-pitch fifth inning.
“For the first time in my life, I wasn’t trying to hit everyone,” Severino said. “I was trying to save my pitches and get a quick inning. … I was going to get mad if I pitched less than five innings.
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