RHP Luis Severino will start Friday at Tampa Bay in the opener of a three-game series. He became the third pitcher in Yankees' history to strike out at least 10 and issue no more than one walk in consecutive games: April 13 vs. the Rays and April 18 vs. the White Sox. The Yankees are 4-3 in his starts. He is 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in eight games, four of them starts, against the Rays. He is 2-0 with a 0.82 in four games, including one start, at Tampa Bay.
LHP Jordan Montgomery has lost back-to-back starts. He yielded five runs on four hits, including a three-run homer, and three walks in five innings against the Royals. "I'm actually trying not to think of myself as a rookie and make the excuse. I know I'm better than that," Montgomery said. "Not walking guys. I've never walked people in the minor leagues. I don't know where this is coming from, maybe giving the hitters too much credit. That and home runs. I've never had a problem with the long ball."
RF Aaron Judge had two singles in the loss Thursday. Judge is 9-for-22 in a five-game hitting streak. He tops the American League with 14 home runs and 32 runs, while his .713 slugging percentage ranks second.
CF Brett Gardner was not in the starting lineup, but flied out to left field as a pinch hitter to end the game. Gardner has reached base in his past 20 starts, hitting .313 with seven home runs. His seven homers in 131 at-bats match his 2016 total in 547 at-bats.