Severino stumbles, Yankees get blown out by Blue Jays 11-5
NEW YORK (AP) -- Luis Severino had looked so good in his first six starts, it seemed there wasn't much reason to worry about how the 21-year-old rookie would hold up in a huge game against a power-packed lineup.
That all changed after his first two batters Friday night.
Severino tripped on the mound and stumbled to his worst performance in the big leagues, tagged for six early runs during the New York Yankees' 11-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
"He didn't really have any command of his fastball tonight. Struggled with command of his other pitches and they made him pay," manager Joe Girardi said.
Russell Martin homered twice and drove in four runs against his former team, and Toronto went deep five times in the series opener of a weekend showdown for first place in the AL East.
Seeking its first playoff appearance in 22 years, Toronto increased its division lead to 2 1/2 games over New York. The teams play a rare single-admission doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Saturday to make up Thursday night's rainout. The four-game set concludes Sunday.
Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak each hit a two-run shot in a five-run first inning to build a big lead for David Price. Edwin Encarnacion added a titanic drive after the Blue Jays chased Severino in the third.
"Just the location of his pitches were off. We didn't get ahead a whole lot early and they have a tough lineup. You turn the page and get ready for tomorrow," catcher Brian McCann said. "We know what he's made of and we know what he's capable of doing."
Alex Rodriguez struck out all four times up for the Yankees, drawing boos. New York has dropped three straight after winning eight of 10.
Severino (3-3) gave up a double to his first batter and fell to his knees on his fifth pitch. He flexed his leg as Girardi and a trainer came out to check on him, but Severino threw one warmup pitch and remained in the game.
"I just think he caught his spike. It scared me probably more than it probably scared him," Girardi said. "You can have some pretty bad thoughts go through your mind in a situation like that, but he's OK."
Then the right-hander really took a tumble.
Donaldson hit a mammoth drive into the elevated concrete bleachers in left field for his 38th homer. Encarnacion doubled and scored on Troy Tulowitzki's single before Smoak homered to right.
Martin, who had three of Toronto's 16 hits, added an RBI single in the third.
"My location with my fastball wasn't there," said Severino, who entered with a 2.04 ERA after going 3-0 with a 0.98 mark in his previous three outings. "I'm going to have more tough outings like that. I have to keep going, keep working."
Two of Severino's losses have come against the Blue Jays.
A vocal contingent of Toronto fans made themselves heard all night, with Yankees supporters attempting to drown out chants of "Let's go Blue Jays!" after the crowd of 40,220 had dwindled by the eighth inning.
Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer and knocked in four for the Yankees, who can fall back on their lead in the wild-card race. But they want to win the AL East and avoid the win-or-go-home scenario of a wild-card game.
Handed an 8-1 cushion, Price (15-5) threw 96 pitches in five innings. The ace left-hander improved to 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the Blue Jays acquired him in a July 30 trade with Detroit. He is 2-0 against the Yankees in three starts with Toronto.
Encarnacion, who has reached base safely in a club-record 40 consecutive games, took a long look at his two-run clout in the fourth off Chris Martin that landed in the rarely reached second deck in left.
RIGHT AT HOME
Price is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last eight starts at Yankee Stadium. ... Toronto won its fifth straight in the Bronx for the first time since 2003 and improved to 9-4 against New York this year.
Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira will miss the rest of the season after a third round of tests finally revealed a broken right leg. Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin Aug. 17 and has started only once since. GM Brian Cashman said Teixeira is three weeks into a recovery process that will take at least three months, but the switch-hitting slugger should be ready for the start of next season.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (12-8) starts the opener Saturday, with Marcus Stroman making his season debut in the second game. The 24-year-old Stroman, who had surgery in March to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA as a rookie last season. He grew up on Long Island about 55 miles from Yankee Stadium and said he's leaving around 20 passes for friends and family. Stroman completed his sociology degree this year while rehabbing his knee at Duke, where he played college ball.
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (10-8) gets the ball in the first game Saturday. RHP Ivan Nova (6-7) makes his 100th major league start in the nightcap.
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