Severino, bullpen help Yankees slow down Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas -- New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino kept the Texas Rangers at bay long enough for the bats to wake up with seven dazzling innings of one-hit ball.
And while the offense couldn’t reward Severino with a win, the Yankees woke up late with three runs over the final two innings to take a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on Saturday.
The trio of Severino, David Robertson (7-2) and Aroldis Chapman combined for the one-hitter and 13 strikeouts as the Yankees held the Rangers to their lowest hit title since Opening Day of 2016.
The Yankees needed all of the pitching as they trailed 1-0 before Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Once the Yankees got Texas starter Andrew Cashner out the game, they collected five hits over the final two innings and took the lead in the top of the ninth.
Tyler Austin’s bases-loaded single to left off Ricky Rodriguez gave New York its first lead of the game and Headley added some insurance with a bases-loaded walk on a day the Yankees had nine hits, all of them singles.
“I was just trying to calm myself down,” said Austin, who came on as a pinch hitter. “I was a little nervous walking up there. Once I saw the first pitch, I kind of calmed myself down and tried to get something and not try to do too much with it.”
Chapman nailed down the win with his 17th save by striking out two.
Severino had 10 strikeouts and Robertson struck out one.
Alex Claudio (4-2) allowed two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.
Texas gave Cashner a 1-0 lead to work with thanks to its lone hit in the fifth inning.
Catcher Brett Nicholas, the No. 9 hitter, lined a double off Severino into the right-field corner that scored Will Middlebrooks from first. Middlebrooks had reached on a fielder’s choice following a walk to open the inning.
That would be all the Rangers could manage off Severino and the Yankees.
“Severino’s been really good all year long,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “He made it very tough on us, made some tremendous pitches, made it challenging for us. We were able to manage one hit and one run and not much else. Obviously Robertson we’ve seen before. He had the off-speed in play early. And Chapman threw strikes at 101.”
Severino has now allowed one earned run of fewer in eight of his 10 starts since the All-Star break and became the first New York pitcher since Michael Pineda in 2014 to pitch at least seven innings and allow one run or fewer.
“He was really good today,” New York manager Joe Girardi said of Severino. “It looked like he had great command of his fastball. His slider was good. Threw some occasional change-ups. But his command was really good.”
Despite the offensive struggles, Cashner made that lead stand up until the eighth inning. He retired 13 of 14 batters at one point before hitting Todd Frazier to lead off the eighth inning.
That was it for Cashner as Claudio came on and was greeted by a Matt Holliday single to right to put runners on the corners. Headley tied the game two batters later with a sacrifice fly to center.
“I felt good,” Cashner said. “I felt like I could have kept going, but I thought Frazier was going to come out swinging. I tried to throw a sinker in there, white line it, try to get him to roll over something. I wasn’t trying to throw a strike and it just sailed on me. Unfortunately it hit him.”
Brett Gardner went 2-for-5 for New York, which stranded nine runners and was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring positon. Texas was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.
NOTES: The Little League team from Lufkin, Texas, which represented the United States in the Little League World Series, was on hand as guests of the Rangers and visited the clubhouse before the game and met with players. ... Texas OF Carlos Gomez left the game in the second inning after rolling his right ankle while swinging at a pitch. Gomez was diagnosed with a mild high ankle sprain and there’s no timetable on his return ... New York OF Aaron Judge tied a major-league rookie record with his second-inning walk. His 106 walks tied the record set by Cleveland’s Les Fleming in 1942.