The Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night for their second consecutive win at Turner Field. They will try for the sweep against the Braves, who have scored the fewest runs in all of baseball, at 1:35 p.m. EST this afternoon. The Yankees are still 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East because the Blue Jays have also won their last two games.
Luis Severino, who didn’t allow a run in six innings pitched, threw his fifth consecutive quality start since being called up from Triple-A Scranton. He has only allowed more than two earned runs in a start once and the six shutout innings that he threw lowered his ERA from 2.74 to 2.17.
“It doesn’t seem to overwhelm him, the situation here,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Severino, who has a plus changeup, slider and fastball, allowed four hits and three walks in his six innings pitched and struck out Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt with runners on first and second on a 96 mph fastball to end the fourth inning. He was able to get former Yankee Nick Swisher to hit into a double play with runners on first and second to end the first, got Jace Peterson to ground out to Stephen Drew at second with runners on first and second in the sixth and retired the side in order in the third and fifth innings.
The rookie is only the second Yankees pitcher 21 or younger to throw six scoreless innings in a start since 1970. Brian Cashman definitely made the right decision in not trading him and he will be an integral part in the team’s push to get to the playoffs.
The Yankees scored for the first time in the first inning when Jacoby Ellsbury scored on Matt Wisler’s wild pitch with Chase Headley at the plate. Headley would strike out with Brian McCann on third and Greg Bird at second to end the frame. In the seventh inning, Didi Gregorius‘s double to right that scored Headley gave the Yankees all the runs that the would need. Gregorius has a three-game hitting streak and has driven in one or more runs in all three of those games.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bethancourt scored the Braves only run of the game after an error by relief pitcher Justin Wilson. Dellin Betances came in and recorded his 20th hold of the season and added two more strikeouts to push his season total to 106, which is 21 more than Twins starter Phil Hughes who has thrown 77 more innings, and then Andrew Miller pitched the ninth inning and saved his 28th game of the season in his first season as a closer.
The Yankees added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Brian McCann hit a double to deep right that scored Chris Young, who had pinch run for Carlos Beltran. McCann has gone 2-5 with five RBIs in his first two games back at Turner Field after playing his home games at Turner Field for the first nine years of his career.
The Yankees will send out the same lineup in the series finale that they did on Saturday. On August 28 it was reported that Mark Teixeira, who has missed nine of the past 11 games with a deep bone bruise, still couldn’t run and the doctor said that he shouldn’t do so for a few days.
Nathan Eovaldi will get the start in the series finale. Eovaldi’s 13 wins are the most on the team and his 4.00 ERA is the lowest it has been since it was 3.97 on May 7. He had his best start of his season in his previous start as he pitched eight inning, didn’t allow a run and recorded seven strikeouts.