Luis Severino allowed six runs while the bottom of the New York Yankees' lineup struggled in an 8-1 loss to the Houston Astros in the rubber game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. >> Box score
Severino (5-4) gave up six runs for the second time in his last three starts. He surrendered nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, including up a two-run home run to Marwin Gonzalez in a three-run second inning.
Though the Yankees reached base six times within the first three innings off Mike Fiers, they did not score, going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Fiers threw 105 pitches in four innings, while Chris Devenski (5-3), Michael Feliz and James Hoyt combined to throw four scoreless innings. While Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez each recorded two hits, New York's 4-9 hitters went 2-for-20 with eight strikeouts.
Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run off Domingo German, while Carlos Correa went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
The Yankees blew a chance for a series win Saturday, and the disappointment from that effort carried into today's low-energy performance.
Severino has now turned in three poor starts among his last four after piecing together a strong five-start sequence. He might have the stuff to be the ace of the future, but he's not quite there yet in terms of consistency, having struggled in two of his past three.
The series also demonstrated something more general in nature, to me at least: The Yankees are not strong enough as currently constituted to fend off a team like the Astros. As such, the Yankees must think long and hard about their course of action at the end of the month.
Adding a couple of pieces might get them into the postseason where the wild-card race is watered down, but is it worth trading top-tier prospects when it is evident they could get bounced quickly? Or does it make more sense to keep testing the farm system and stay on the path toward future success, which could still lead to a wild-card berth. Right now, I lean toward the latter.
Masahiro Tanaka (6-7, 5.56 ERA) and the New York Yankees begin a three-game series against Marcus Stroman (8-4, 3.41 ERA) and the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Monday at 7:05 p.m.