NEW YORK — Luis Severino struck out 11 in seven overpowering innings, beating longtime Yankees nemesis Dallas Keuchel for the second time this year as New York topped the Houston Astros, 5-3, on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).
Gary Sanchez snapped an 0-for-19 slump with a two-run single and the Yankees took two of three from the reigning World Series champions this week to win the season series 5-2. Houston defeated New York in the 2017 AL Championship Series, with the home team winning all seven games.
If these budding rivals meet again this year, it will be in October.
Severino (8-1) allowed four hits, including Max Stassi's two-run homer, and walked one in winning his sixth consecutive decision. The ace right-hander, who hasn't lost since April 10 at Boston, threw a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts for his first career complete game in a 4-0 victory over Keuchel at Houston on May 2.
David Robertson struck out two in a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman got three outs for his 12th save in 13 chances. Stassi, subbing for injured catcher Brian McCann, hit an RBI double with two outs in the ninth before Chapman fanned George Springer to end it.
After dominating the Yankees for years, Keuchel (3-7) dropped his third straight start against them — including the playoffs. The left-hander gave up four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
Keuchel entered 6-4 with a 1.82 ERA and two complete games in 10 outings against New York, including three postseason starts.
The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner walked two batters in the first inning, and center fielder Jake Marisnick made a diving catch on a sacrifice fly by slumping slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
Sanchez rolled a two-run single through an open right side with two outs in the fifth to put the Yankees ahead, 3-2.
Gleyber Torres doubled to start the sixth and scored from third on Didi Gregorius' single through a drawn-in infield that chased Keuchel. Aaron Hicks looped an RBI double off Collin McHugh later in the inning that got past a diving Marwin Gonzalez in left field.
Severino retired his first 11 batters, striking out seven of his first nine, before AL MVP Jose Altuve bounced a single through a wide-open right side.
New York (35-17), which has won 17 of its last 21 at home, matched a season high at 18 games above .500. The Yankees are 14-4 against left-handed starters and have won 10 of their past 11 completed series.
Astros: Slumping SS Carlos Correa was back in the lineup after a night off, and Springer took his turn receiving a rest. Springer struck out as a pinch hitter with two on to end the seventh and stayed in the game to play center field. ... OF Derek Fisher (gastrointestinal discomfort) had a scheduled day off on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno, manager AJ Hinch said. ... The team was awaiting an update on McCann (sore right knee) after he was examined by doctors in Houston.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren, on the DL since April 21 with a back strain, threw 41 pitches over three scoreless innings in a rehab start for Double-A Trenton. He allowed one hit and struck out three. ... 1B Greg Bird was rested, leaving Gregorius as the only left-handed batter in the starting lineup against Keuchel.
Astros: Return home to face another 2017 playoff opponent in Boston. RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (6-3, 3.98 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series Thursday night against LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 6.75 ERA).
Yankees: An 11-game road trip that takes them to four cities, although they finish up in New York against the crosstown rival Mets at Citi Field. RHP Sonny Gray (3-4, 5.98 ERA) tries to rebound from his latest disappointing start Thursday night in Baltimore. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-6, 5.07 ERA) goes for the last-place Orioles.