DETROIT — Luis Severino played the part of staff ace and the Yankees’ lineup looked unstoppable for a second straight night.
Though the Yankees certainly will take another lopsided victory at Comerica Park, this one 10-2, it’s fair to wonder just how much they have proven against the Tigers — who look to be playing out the string of a nightmarish season.
On Wednesday, Severino retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. The only baserunner was Victor Martinez, who flared a single to right with two outs in the third.
By the time Severino began to falter in the sixth, the Yankees had scored eight times and knocked out Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann.
They got to Zimmermann for seven runs in five innings, less than a month after the right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings against them in The Bronx.
For a second straight game, Gary Sanchez gave the Yankees a first-inning lead with a home run, this one a two-out solo shot.
But the Yankees did their real damage in a five-run third.
Jacoby Ellsbury, starting for the first time in a week, led off with a single and Ronald Torreyes followed with another hit — his first of four on the night.
Both runners advanced on Brett Gardner’s flyout to center and then Zimmermann walked Aaron Hicks to load the bases for the scorching-hot Sanchez.
The catcher came through again when he blooped a two-run single in front of center fielder Andrew Romine to make it 3-0.
Aaron Judge, who showed signs of breaking out of his second-half slump by reaching base four times Tuesday, then ripped an RBI double to right-center. Didi Gregorius’ single netted another run before Chase Headley finished the scoring with a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 6-0 lead.
Gregorius’ 19th homer of the year put the Yankees up 7-0 in the fifth and Headley delivered his eighth homer of the season in the seventh.
All of that was more than enough for Severino, who has been good in eight of his past nine starts, the exception being his 10-run disaster against Boston on Aug. 12.
On the road, Severino has been splendid overall. In 14 starts away from Yankee Stadium, Severino is 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA.
His dominance faded in the fifth on Wednesday when he hit John Hicks with two outs.
Romine followed with a single. Though Severino got out of the inning, he allowed a leadoff homer to Ian Kinsler in the sixth.
That was the only run allowed by Severino, who struck out eight.
Severino already has exceeded the 151 innings he threw combined between the Yankees and minors a year ago, but at 156 ²/₃ innings through Wednesday’s game, manager Joe Girardi is hopeful the Yankees won’t have to manage his workload down the stretch.
“We feel pretty good with where he’s at,” Girardi said before the game. “If there’s a chance and we have a big lead and the bullpen is rested, [we’ll take him out].”
Severino threw 100 pitches against the Tigers, who the Yankees have outscored 23-6 in the series.
The offensive outburst, coupled with Severino’s effectiveness, allowed Girardi to avoid using the heart of his bullpen, as Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle pitched the final 2 ¹/₃ innings of the victory, with the struggling Kahnle giving up another run on a homer to Jose Iglesias.
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