Yankees shutout Jays after hanging on in high-wire 9th inning – The Mercury News

Luis Severino, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino passed the test. The Yankees got through their first test of the season Thursday night with Severino dominating, Trevino and Kiner-Falefa providing the majority of the offense as the Bombers beat the Blue Jays 4-0 at the Stadium in the series finale.

The Yankees split the four-game series and leave the Bronx with a little more of an idea of ​​who they are as a team. They went 4-3 on the home stand against the Red Sox and Blue Jays, two of the teams they will certainly be battling for a playoff spot this year.

“I think we have a chance to be a really good team. I think we played a really good division where it’s gonna be super competitive all season all summer long, ”Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of what he knows about his team. “We’ve jumped right in here with the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. We’ve faced a lot of good arms. We’ve obviously faced good lineups and it’s gonna be a fun, tough season. Early signs say we’re equipped to handle this and my expectations are high. ”

They got two very encouraging starts from Luis Severino. Thursday night, the former Yankees ace showed he’s a much more complete pitcher than before he began a three-year journey through injuries. He held the dangerous Blue Jays lineup scoreless over five innings. He scattered two hits and two walks. He struck out six — that included striking out Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. three times (a first for the young Blue Jays slugger). Severino, who pitched 27.2 innings over the last three years because of injuries, saw his fastball touch 100 miles per hour and he used a very effective mix of pitches to get 15 swings and misses, including six on his changeup and five on his cutter.

They saw the bottom half of their lineup show signs of life. After starting his Yankee career 1-for-17, Isiah Kiner-Falefa broke out with two hits and scored two runs. He was driven in by Jose Trevino, who was his teammate with Texas before they were both dealt to the Yankees, on both plays. Trevino singled, doubled, stole a base and had two RBIs.

“I feel like it’s close. Some of his best contact has been that hard ground ball at someone. So just by getting those elevated a little bit, turning those into line drives and he should be able to take off, ”Boone said of Kiner-Falefa before Thursday night’s game. “He’ll settle in here and be the quality of contact guy that we know and like a few of these guys. I do feel like he’s on the verge. ”

Boone had shrugged off the woes of the bottom of his lineup, including starting catcher Kyle Higashioka, who was off Thursday night. Higashioka, who led the Yankees in home runs this spring, is 1-for-18 with no extra-base hits.

“We got to get those guys going. I’m not worried about them over the long haul. But that’s somewhere we got to start getting a little bit of production there, ”Boone said. “Higgy’s gonna be fine. He’s had quality contact then there’s a lot of hard balls right at guys on the ground. So turning a couple of those in the line drives and we’ll get him rolling. He’s gonna hit for power down there. It’s gonna happen. ”

Aaron Judge doubled to lead off the eighth and scored on a fielder’s choice, beyond that the heart of the Yankees lineup was once again quiet.

“I do feel like offensively we’re very close. I feel like a number of our guys are in a pretty good place as far as at-bat quality, how they’re hitting the ball. I think we’ve hit some tough luck at times. I thought we hit a number of balls well last night, ”Boone said. “Really with the exception of the (Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah) game, where he really shut us down and generated for the most part, a lot of weak contact. I feel like in the third game against the Red Sox where we did not get that big hit, although I felt like we had some at bats and situations with guys out there. ”

And Thursday night, Aroldis Chapman melted down, walking three straight batters before Michael King came in and cleaned up the mess, earning his first big league save.

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