Bronx, NY- The Yankees kept pace in the race for an AL Wild Card with Boston and Toronto Tuesday evening in the Bronx after their 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers.
Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Judge hit a home run in the same game and they have done that in the past two weeks.Wednesday evening it’s one more game with Texas and in the next week a more definite picture of the wild card will come into play as the Yankees head to Boston and Toronto.
Boston holds the top spot by 1/-½ games and the Yankees trail Toronto by a half game with 10-games remaining.
Jordan Montgomery got the win and the bullpen took over. Michael King continued his shutout pitching in relief. But the Red Sox and Blue Jays with their wins continued their hold on the first and second Wild Card.
King retired cleanup hitter Adolis Garcia in the sixth inning and struck out three in the seventh all looking. In turn, the focus for manager Aaron Boone and his team is to win as many as they can with 10-games remaining.
And the Yankees bullpen got a major reinforcement with the return of Right-hander Luis Severino
Severino, (2.0IP, 2H, 2K) made his season debut, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings that marked his first appearance with the Yankees since Game 3 of the 2019 ALCS vs. Houston as he recovered from Tommy John Surgery.
A starter, Severino, In 12 career relief appearances, is 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA (25.1IP, 1ER) and 27 strikeouts, his first relief appearance since September 22, 2016 at Tampa Bay.
“That was special for me,” Severino said. “It was really frustrating for a little bit.”
The Severino fastball was clocked at 90. His slider was effective. He resembled the 27-year old two-time All-Star, who at one time was slated to be the ace of their pitching staff before going down with elbow injuries that led to surgery. It was a long haul back with shoulder and groin issues.
“ I felt pretty good,” Severino said. “I was not worried about my command because I knew I could throw strikes. Slider, changeup, fastball command was really good.”
Boone and his team said it was a fun night because the Yankees used the home run ball, got the pitching, and kept pace in their Wild Card quest. However, it was a night about Luis Sverino.
“It’s a proud moment for him,” Boone said about Severino. “For his teammates and all of us that have seen him go through a lot. We’re talking about a great pitcher in this league that has obviously had the injury bug and battled different things. He worked his tail off to get to this moment.”
Though, there was caution putting Severino back on the mound and Boone waited for the right moment. Had the Yankees been in another of their one-run games, Severino, reinstated Monday from the injured list, would wait another day.
So, with a comfortable 7-1 lead, Severino came out of the pen and threw two innings of 30-pitches to complete the win.
The most important games of the season await and the Yankees would need to sweep or take two of three from the Red Sox and Blue Jays to have that Wild Card opportunity.
But Tuesday night, it was fun in the Bronx and enthusiasm about Luis Severino.
“It’s all in our hands,” said Judge, who hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, his 38th of the season. “You want to be holding the cards. You want to be going out there, have some fun and win ball games.”
And the real fun that will dictate if the Yankees play in October will begin Friday night at Fenway Park with three games up in Boston.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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