Severino hurls shutout, Stanton powers Yanks past Astros 4-0
HOUSTON (AP) Luis Severino didn’t think he’d be allowed to finish his marvelous performance Wednesday.
When he was told he was going back out for the ninth inning, he made sure to close it out.
Severino pitched a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts for his first career complete game, Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in four runs, and the New York Yankees beat the World Series champion Houston Astros 4-0 for the second consecutive night.
”When they told me, I was happy,” Severino said about staying in for the ninth. ”I was feeling good. My fastball was there. Changeup, slider, I was feeling very good.”
Stanton hit a two-run homer to right field that just made it over the wall in the first inning. He added a solo homer to left off Yankees nemesis Dallas Keuchel (1-5) in the fourth and tacked on an RBI double in the eighth.
The first home run by Stanton was the first Keuchel had ever allowed to the Yankees, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.
”I got good pitches to hit, was on time, got the barrel on them,” Stanton said. ”(Severino) put us in the best situation possible.”
Severino (5-1) walked one and threw 110 pitches in his 60th major league start, earning his third straight win.
”It means a lot,” he said of the complete game. ”This is a great team. This is a great fastball-hitting team. What me and (catcher Austin) Romine did to go through nine innings, that’s very special.”
Severino was still throwing 99 mph in the ninth as he polished off New York’s third complete game over the last three seasons. The 24-year-old righty became the youngest Yankees pitcher to toss a shutout since Sterling Hitchcock, who was also 24, in 1995.
”He never really got out of whack,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. ”He was dominating three pitches. He mixed in his changeup a bunch tonight. I felt like for most of the night he was on cruise control. Special outing.”
New York has taken two of three in a four-game series, the first matchup between the teams since Houston won Game 7 of last year’s AL Championship Series. The Yankees have thrown consecutive shutouts for the first time since May 2014 against the New York Mets.
The last time Houston got blanked two games in a row was early July 2013, by Tampa Bay.
”Tonight was about Severino, obviously,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ”He completely dominated the night. We didn’t have an answer for him.”
Severino retired 14 of his first 15 batters, with the lone hit being Alex Bregman’s single through the right side in the second.
Keuchel allowed three runs and six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings. The left-hander pitched better after giving up six runs over seven innings in his last outing, but home runs continue to hurt him. He’s served up eight in seven starts this year and at least one in each of his last four outings.
”He made some adjustments from the first two games,” Keuchel said about Stanton’s homers. ”A bunch of their big boys were selling out the other way early. I made the necessary adjustments, but when Severino has it going on like he was tonight, it’s going to be tough sledding for our offense.”
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a flexor strain. Montgomery won’t throw for three weeks and could miss six to eight weeks, Boone said. … RHP David Hale was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Montgomery’s spot on the roster. … OF Jacoby Ellsbury (right oblique strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL. … OF Clint Frazier was reinstated from the 7-day concussion disabled list and optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … RHP Luis Cessa (left oblique strain) is at least a week or two away from playing catch, Boone said. … RHP Tommy Kahnle (right shoulder) has been playing catch for the last couple of days. … RHP Adam Warren (back) is close to playing catch ”any day now,” Boone said.
Astros closer Ken Giles punched himself in the face while heading to the dugout after giving up a three-run homer to Gary Sanchez in the ninth inning Tuesday. Hinch said it’s a tough look for someone coming out of competition like that. ”I understand the frustration,” he explained. ”I understand how much these guys put into it, but in an ideal world, you can handle it a little more calmly and without the violence.”
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-2) makes his seventh start of the season Thursday, looking for a third straight win. Tanaka is 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA in four games against the Astros.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1) goes for his fourth consecutive win in the series finale. McCullers has allowed one run or zero in each of his last three starts.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball