Schedule officials threw the Yankees into the deep end to start the year.
But they came out of their first seven-game check of the season with their heads above water, ending it on a high Thursday night in the Bronx.
Luis Severino looked more like himself than his first start of the season, pitching five shutout innings, and the bottom of the Yankees roster took over offensively to combine for a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays. .
Aroldis Chapman made it dramatic in the ninth inning, never finding his command as he raced through the bases loaded without registering an out. But Michael King replaced him and knocked out George Springer on three pitches before Bo Bichette hit a soft liner that DJ LeMahieu turned into a double play to end it.
In a game that was rain-delayed 90 minutes, the Yankees split the series with AL East favorites and finished their home game against the Red Sox and Blue Jays with a 4-3 record. .
“I think we have a chance to be a very good team,” manager Aaron Boone said before the game when asked about his first week of the season. “I think we play in a very good division, where it will be super competitive all season, all summer. We hopped in here with the Red Sox and Blue Jays and faced a lot of good arms. We obviously faced some good line-ups. It’s going to be a fun and tough season and my early signs are that we’re equipped to handle this. My expectations are high.
Severino dodged traffic early before settling in and mowing down the Blue Jays (4-3). Perhaps most impressively, he hit Vladimir Guerrero Jr. three times, a night after the Blue Jays star went 4-for-4 with three homers and a double. On Thursday, Guerrero went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
After Guerrero’s third strikeout to end the fifth inning — and Severino’s night after 83 pitches — the right-hander let out a throaty scream and slapped his glove as he left the mound. In his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery, Severino allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out six.
The Yankees got their support against Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman in the No. 8 and No. 9 spots on their roster, which had been something of a black hole in the first week of the season. Going into Thursday, the Yankees’ last two batters had been 3 for 42, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino turned the tables.
They combined to go 5v6, with Kiner-Falefa scoring both points and Trevino leading it each time.
The duo connected for the first time in the third set. Kiner-Falefa hit a one-out single to left field, then took second on Gausman’s refusal. Trevino came on next and roped in another single to left field, which took a short jump that got away from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and allowed Kiner-Falefa to score for the 1-0 lead.
They did it again in the fifth inning, which Kiner-Falefa kept alive with a two-out double drilled to the left side. Trevino then blooped a single to left field to score Kiner-Falefa, putting the Yankees up 2-0.
The heart of the lineup scored on an insurance run in the eighth inning, as Aaron Judge doubled and eventually scored on a Giancarlo Stanton pitch.
Severino, meanwhile, made sure the Blue Jays never got started.
There was a brief hiccup in the first inning, when Severino’s 98mph fastball raced out and hit Gurriel on the left hand. As Gurriel was treated, Severino appeared to exchange words with the Blue Jays dugout, but the situation was quickly defused.
Severino then loaded the bases with one out in the second inning – with the help of a fielding error from Anthony Rizzo – but he put down Springer and Bichette to escape the jam, striking out 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
New York Post