|Yankees' Severino tries to get back into groove vs. Jays|
NEW YORK -- One of the many questions surrounding the New York Yankees as they slog through mid-August is the state of Luis Severino and his recent performances.
Severino will be five days removed from his shortest start of the year Saturday afternoon when the Yankees continue a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Although Severino is 15-6 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP this year, he is 2-4 with a 7.50 ERA in his last seven starts.
Severino has allowed 11 of his 18 homers during that stretch and gave up homers to Amed Rosario and Jose Bautista in Monday's 8-5 loss to the New York Mets. Severino allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings while throwing 98 pitches.
The Yankees said all week that Severino's issues are not physical and there was no plan to skip him, especially since the Yankees have two days off next week, which will get him some extra rest.
"We got to help him and finally get to the bottom of it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Monday. "Physically, I think he's sound, but we got to get this righted and that's all on us because he's so important. He's so dynamic when he's right."
Severino has not consistently shown his dominating stuff since July 1 when he allowed two hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings over the Boston Red Sox. And like Boone, he is working to solve the cause of his sudden cold streak.
"I don't know," Severino said. "I think I keep doing the same mistakes over and over. I'm missing with my fastball. Last time something happened, homer to right field and I'm doing the same thing again. I'm missing with my fastball and I need to be more in control."
The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) against Toronto. He began his career by going 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in his first six outings against Toronto but is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last starts against the Blue Jays since June 4, 2017.
Severino will try to help the Yankees beat the Blue Jays for the 11th time in 15 meetings.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 31st homer, Neil Walker belted a three-run homer off Marcus Stroman and the Yankees rallied from an early four-run deficit to open the series with a 7-5 rain-shortened victory.
The Yankees also improved to 11-10 since Aaron Judge went on the DL with a fractured right wrist. Judge was slated to do dry swings Friday but was still feeling some pain.
"You just don't know," Boone said. "We're waiting for it to be out of there and once it is then we'll go. We're not going to press it, especially not that we've waited this long."
The Blue Jays lost for the eighth time in 12 games after GM Ross Atkins announced manager John Gibbons will finish the season. They are hoping to avoid their fourth straight rain delay after enduring delays totaling three hours and 54 minutes in their last three games.
After losing the opener, Gibbons said Stroman's blister might have flared up and a DL stint could be possible.
Sean Reid-Foley will make his second start for the Blue Jays. Reid-Foley allowed three runs and six hits in five innings Monday in Kansas City.
He allowed a two-run homer to Ryan O'Hearn in the second inning while throwing 62 of 97 pitches.
"I was nervous," Reid-Foley said. "I was sweating pretty bad and couldn't get a good grip on the ball the first couple of innings. I threw one bad pitch and left it middle-middle."
Before joining Toronto, the 22-year-old right-hander was a combined 12-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A New Hampshire and Buffalo. He went 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA in eight starts in the Eastern League. He was 7-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 starts in the International League
"I thought he was great," Gibbons said of Reid-Foley's debut. "He battled and was ahead of most hitters. That's a good sign."
The Blue Jays added Billy McKinney to their roster Friday when catcher Luke Maile was placed on the paternity list. Gibbons said he planned on playing in the outfield Saturday.
McKinney was acquired from the Yankees in the J.A. Happ trade and was batting .203 in 20 games for Triple-A Buffalo.