NEW YORK (AP) – Luis Severino dominated over seven innings, Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier homered, and the New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5 on Wednesday to sweep the two-game series.
The Yankees have won six of eight, inching closer to first-place Boston in the AL East.
Severino (7-4) did not allow a runner past second base until the seventh. He struck out nine, eight swinging, many on a devastating slider that looked untouchable at times.
The 23-year-old fireballer has emerged as New York’s de facto ace, pitching brilliantly since the All-Star break. Severino has allowed just one earned run in 21 innings (0.43 ERA) and has completed seven innings in a career-best four straight starts.
Reds starter Homer Bailey (2-5) lost his third straight outing, charged with seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits in six-plus innings.
Following RBI hits by Gary Sanchez and Matt Holliday with no outs in the seventh, Gregorius deposited reliever Tony Cingrani’s first pitch into the right field stands to give the Yankees an 8-2 lead. It was Gregorius’ fourth long ball in the last three games.
Frazier also went deep off of Cingrani, his 17th of the season and first with the Yankees, making the score 9-2.
New York, which acquired Frazier last week in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, scored the game’s first run with two outs in the third. Clint Frazier followed back-to-back singles by Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner with a looping line drive to shallow right, scoring Torreyes and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Their second run crossed the plate in almost the same fashion with two outs in the fifth. Torreyes and Gardner’s line-drive singles were followed by Frazier’s RBI single to left.
The Yankees doubled their lead in the sixth on a pair of unearned runs. Shortstop Jose Peraza made an off-balance attempt on a Gregorius grounder, throwing wide of first for a two-base error. Chase Headley followed with an RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0.
Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a hard grounder to first baseman Joey Votto, whose errant throw to second pulled Peraza off the bag and loaded the bases. Frazier was initially ruled out, but a replay review overturned the call.
Torreyes’ soft groundout to short plated Headley for New York’s fourth run.
The Reds finally broke through against Severino in the seventh, also thanks to some shoddy fielding.
Scott Schebler reached on a leadoff error, a shifting Gregorius unable to cleanly field a grounder. Eugenio Suarez lined a double down the left field line, scoring Schebler and snapping Severino’s scoreless streak at 17 innings.
Tucker Barnhart’s groundout scored Suarez, making the score 4-2.
Votto was 2 for 2 with two walks and a run scored.
Adam Duvall hit his 21st home run of the season in the eighth against reliever Luis Cessa, a 3-run shot that cut the deficit to 9-5.
Reds: Zack Cozart (sore quadriceps) did not play. The All-Star shortstop reached first base as a pinch hitter on Tuesday night and later hobbled into third on a Billy Hamilton RBI double. Cozart was pulled from the game as a precaution. He is considered day-to-day and the club is optimistic this will not be a long-term setback, according to manager Bryan Price. … Minor league infielder Dilson Herrera will undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to remove bone chips from his right shoulder. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
Yankees: RF Aaron Judge was given a rare respite. “He’s a little physically beat up but nothing serious,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We just felt with a quick turnaround a day off would be good.” The towering slugger crashed into the outfield wall attempting to field Hamilton’s double, which factored into Girardi’s decision. Judge is expected to be in Thursday’s lineup.
Reds: Cincinnati begins a four-game series at Marlins Park on Thursday night with a rematch of rookie starters. RHP Robert Stephenson (0-3, 8.10 ERA) faces Miami for the second time in less than a week. Recalled from Triple-A on Saturday to make his first start of the season, the former first-round pick lost to the Marlins after allowing five runs in 5 1/3 innings. LHP Chris O’Grady (1-1, 5.40 ERA) did not factor in the decision.
Yankees: New York welcomes Tampa Bay to town on Thursday. Rays ace RHP Chris Archer (7-6, 3.77 ERA) faces off against LHP CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.44 ERA) in the first of four pivotal matchups between AL East rivals.
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