Luis Severino was an All-Star for the Yankees two weeks ago, but that now seems like a long time ago.
Severino got hit hard in another shaky start and the Kansas City Royals, hours after trading cornerstone Mike Moustakas, beat New York 10-5 Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
Trying for his major league-leading 15th win, Severino instead was pulled after Lucas Duda’s two-run homer made it 6-0 in the fifth inning. Rosell Hererra hit an early two-run double, and Salvador Perez had a two-run single that set up Duda.
“I don’t know what the issue is,” Severino said. “I just need to work on the stuff that’s not working and try to be myself again.”
Severino (14-4) allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out five in his shortest start of the year. He has been tagged for six earned runs in each of his last two starts — he hadn’t allowed more than five in 28 previous starts.
“It seemed like he kind of got a little out of sorts there and lost his command, especially with the fastball,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He got hurt with some pitches right on the plate.”
The Royals extended a string of rough outings for the 24-year old anchor of the Yankees rotation. Severino has given up 19 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings over his last four starts.
It is the first time that Severino has lost a start at Yankee Stadium this season and the first time he’s lost consecutive starts in nearly two years.
“This is a bump in the season for him, but he has everything to right the ship,” Boone said. “We’ve got to find those little adjustments he can make and get him rolling again.”
The Yankees lost in their first game since slugger Aaron Judge sustained a fractured right wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Kansas City’s Jakob Junis on Thursday night. The injury came while the Yankees were trying to make up ground on the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox.
Aided by three double plays, rookie Brad Keller (4-4) went 5 2/3 innings for the win one day after his 23rd birthday. He gave up four runs on nine hits, a day after his start was pushed back because of a rainout.
Keller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second to keep the game scoreless, thanks to an alert play by Perez. The All-Star catcher pounced on a ball Tyler Wade nubbed in front of the plate, stepped on home and then tagged Wade, who had not moved from the batter’s box, for an unassisted double play. Wade was called up from Triple-A to take Judge’s roster spot.
“Bases loaded, kind of a weird double play, but definitely big,” Keller said.
Brian Goodwin, acquired from Washington last weekend, kept up his big hitting for the Royals, launching a three-run homer into the second deck in right in the eighth that made it 9-5. Duda had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a 447-foot, two-out, two-run homer in the Yankees fifth.
Stanton got up again in the sixth with the bases loaded, two outs and New York trailing 6-4. He lined out to the warning track in right field.
It was Military Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium in front of a sellout crowd. Prior to the game, the Golden Knights of the United States Army Parachute Team made an appearance when they flew one-by-one into the stadium and landed in the outfield.
Royals: Traded longtime 3B Moustakas to Milwaukee for OF Brett Phillips and RH reliever Jorge Lopez. The deal was announced past midnight, well after Friday night’s rainout. Moustakas, 29, spent his entire eight-year career with the Royals and was a key part of their 2014 AL championship and 2015 World Series title teams. Kansas City recalled RH reliever Andres Machado from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ was activated for the second game. The 35-year-old was acquired from Toronto on Thursday for 3B Brandon Drury and OF Billy McKinney. He is scheduled to start Sunday.
Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund was to make a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He has been on the 60-day DL since May 26 with an elbow sprain.
Yankees: LF Brett Gardner did not start the opener. Boone said before the game he’s cautious not to “run anyone into the ground too much” with the team playing three games in 24 hours. … C Austin Romine was hit by a pitch on his right forearm in the second. He was looked at by trainers but remained in the game.
Royals: Rookie RHP Heath Fillmyer (0-1, 2.82) pitches the second game.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.51), originally scheduled to pitch Friday night, takes the hill for the nightcap. The start will be his 274th as a Yankee, tying him with Bob Shawkey for eighth on New York’s all-time list.