So much focus has been on Aaron Judge's pursuit of 62 home runs, but Luis Severino's bid for a no-hitter became the story of the night for the New York Yankees on Monday in their 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Severino (7-3) threw seven no-hit innings and faced the minimum of 21 batters before he was pulled after 94 pitches. A quest for a combined no-hitter was thwarted in the eighth inning when reliever Miguel Castro allowed one-out singles to Josh Jung and Jonah Heim.
Judge went 1-for-4 with a single, and the Yankees (98-61) took the series opener with three games remaining against the Rangers (66-93).
Scott Effross tossed a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save.
Severino was dominant, striking out seven. But with his pitch count in the 90s, Yankees manager Aaron Boone played it safe with Severino, who missed two months due to a low-grade right lat strain before returning in late September.
Severino threw a combined nine innings in his outings on Sept. 21 and Sept. 26.
New York's Marwin Gonzalez second his eighth homer and Giancarlo Stanton added his 30th in the eighth inning off Jonathan Hernandez.
The lone baserunner Severino allowed was a walk to Josh H. Smith in the third inning. However, Severino got the next batter, Bubba Thompson, to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Texas All-Star Martin Perez (12-8) gave up one run on five hits in six innings to close out his season. The southpaw put himself in trouble with five walks, and he worked out of jams by inducing five double plays.
The Yankees broke through off Perez in the fifth inning. Oswald Peraza singled, and Aaron Hicks bounced into a forceout. Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked, and Hicks advanced to second. Kyle Higashioka's RBI single to left scored Hicks, but a chance for a big inning was halted when Gonzalez grounded into a double play. Judge was on deck.
New York hit into six double plays.
Texas avoided being shut out by scoring in the eighth inning. The singles by Jung and Heim put runners on the corners for Kole Calhoun, who tapped into an RBI groundout.
--Field Level Media