Luis Severino Sharp As Yankees Battle Rays


The New York Yankees dropped a 2-1 contest to the Tampa Bay Rays on a sun-glared Saturday afternoon.

But Luis Severino looked sharp as he pitched into the fourth inning while holding the Rays scoreless.

Severino allowed two singles in the first. But he matched that with two strikeouts, including fooling Desmond Jennings, who has been hitting well this spring. Severino’s velocity ranged from the mid to high nineties. He followed that up by setting the Rays down in order in the second inning, including two more strike outs.
But the Yankees were also struggling to get to Rays’ starter Matt Moore. Aaron Hicks and Carlos Beltran both singled in the first. But the rally was squelched when Rob Refsnyder hit into a double play.
In the bottom of the third, Tampa put runners on first and second. Logan Forsythe launched a double that dribbled to the center field wall. Instead of challenging Severino, Evan Longoria elected to lean over the plate and get nicked by a pitch. But Severino left both Forsythe and Longoria stranded to complete his third scoreless inning. He remained in the game until there were two down in the fourth. [related category]
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. With James Pazos on the mound for the Yankees and the bases loaded, Johnny Field broke the deadlock for Tampa with a  single to score Curt Casali and Rene Rivera, putting them up 2-0.
The Yankees broke the ice in the top of the seventh. Cesar Puello reached on a hit by pitch. Puello stole second base and then came around to score on back to back ground outs by Ronald Torreyes and Gary Sanchez to bring the Yankees closer at 2-1.
In his 3.2 innings, Severino allowed no runs on four hits. He struck out four with no walks. Anthony Swarzak, Nick Goody and Branden Pinder all pitched a scoreless inning.