Luis Severino faces Tigers, aiming to extend Yanks’ pitching success

New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino will have some tough acts to follow when he takes the mound against the visiting Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

The last two starting pitchers for the Yankees carried perfect games beyond the sixth inning.

Jameson Taillon did not allow a baserunner through seven innings in a 2-1 win against the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Gerrit Cole was perfect through 6 2/3 innings in a 13-0 win against the Tigers in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.

Severino (3-1, 3.38 ERA) has been pitching well enough to match Taillon and Cole’s performances.

The Yankees won the first seven games that Severino started this season, but they haven’t provided him much run support in the past two.

He threw seven shutout innings against the visiting Chicago White Sox on May 22 but did not receive a decision in a 5-0 loss.

Severino took his first loss on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing just two hits in 6 1/3 innings, but both were solo home runs in a 4-2 defeat. Severino induced 22 swings and misses against the Rays, who drew two walks and scored four runs against him.

Severino is just happy to be healthy. He battled injuries since the spring of 2019, including a lat strain, rotator cuff inflammation, Tommy John surgery and several setbacks along the way.

“I feel pretty great,” he said following his last outing. “I’m doing my work between starts, every five days or every six days. When they gave me one extra day, I feel pretty good.”

He will be opposed by rookie right-hander Beau Brieske, who is still looking for his first major league win after seven starts.

Brieske (0-4, 5.25 ERA) brought a 4-3 lead into the sixth inning of his Monday start against the visiting Minnesota Twins, but he gave up a two-out solo home run that tied the score 4-4.

That was his final pitch in a game the Tigers eventually won 7-5.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch liked the way Brieske made adjustments with his breaking ball after being ineffective with the pitch early in the game.

“Once he started spinning it in the zone and got them off his fastball, he had a chance,” Hinch said.

Brieske will be facing the Yankees for the first time, while Severino is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers.

Severino faced Detroit on April 20 and did not receive a decision in New York’s 5-3 victory after allowing one run and seven hits in five innings. He departed with the Yankees leading 2-1, but the Tigers came back to tie the score in the sixth.

Tigers shortstop Javier Baez has a home run in two career at-bats against Severino. The former Chicago Cubs All Star is overdue after hitting .159 with one home run and two RBIs over 29 games in May. Hinch sat him for the first two days of June, but Baez returned Friday to go 0-for-3.

Baez’s longtime teammate with the Cubs, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, struggled during May for the Yankees, hitting just .167 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 27 games.

Rizzo has started June much better, however, blasting one of the Yankees’ four home runs in the series opener on Friday. A day earlier, Rizzo drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with an eighth-inning single in a 2-1 win against the Angels.

“To see him really get into one like that was definitely good,” New York manager Aaron Boone said of Rizzo’s massive home run. “Back-to-back days of getting some real meaningful results at the plate is, hopefully, something that continues to spur him on.”

–Field Level Media