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Severino, Indians' mistakes carry Yankees to a decisive fifth game

By PETE CALDERA • Updated Oct 9, 2017 at 11:37 PM

NEW YORK — Luis Severino had vowed to channel his adrenaline on Monday night, a chance to personally reset things following his extremely early wild card exit.

Last Tuesday night, Severino nearly took the Yankees out of October before it began.

But pressed into another elimination game Monday at Yankee Stadium, Severino kept his promise — delivering seven important innings to get his team back to Cleveland.

Fueled by Severino's hot start and facilitated by some unlikely Indians mistakes, the Yankees raced to a five-run lead and ran off to a 7-3 victory in AL Division Series Game 4.

After trailing 0-2 in the best-of-five series, the Yankees will send out veteran lefty CC Sabathia to start Wednesday night's decisive Game 5 at Progressive Field against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber.

Severino gave up four hits and a walk, struck out nine and watched Tommy Kahnle rescue a wild Dellin Betances in the eighth, stranding two runners and finishing up a six-out save.

In an unexpected twist, the Yankees pounded Kluber for six runs in 2 2/3 innings, only to lose a 13-inning Game 2. But in Game 1, Bauer dominated the Yanks, limiting them to two hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win.

Pitching on short rest, Bauer was not at his best in Monday's Game 4.

And he wasn't helped by his defense in yielding four unearned runs over just 1 2/3 innings, with four hits two walks and three strikeouts.

Aaron Judge's first base hit of the ALDS — a rocket of a two-run double to left — completed the scoring in a four-run second and essentially ended Bauer's night.

Brett Gardner's shallow sac fly in the fifth — testing novice center fielder Jason Kipnis — and Gary Sanchez's sixth-inning homer provided necessary breathing room.

Carlos Santana's two-run homer in the fourth and a Roberto Perez solo homer in the fifth cut the lead to 5-3 and forced Jaime Garcia — a largely ineffective pitcher in eight Yankee starts this summer – to begin warming in a compromised Yankee bullpen.

But by the seventh, armed with a four-run lead, the 23-year-old right-hander heard the chilling chants of "SEVE-RINO'' from an electric, standing crowd of 47,316.

Severino responded by striking out Lonnie Chisenhall on a 100-mph fastball and getting Perez on a soft grounder, stranding a runner at first and moving the Yankees to within six outs of a Game 5.

"He's been one of our aces with CC and (Game 3 winner Masahiro) Tanaka the whole year. So, why not go back that?" Didi Gregorius said before the game. "He'll be fine. We've got (no concerns) about the wild card (start). It happened already."

Joe Girardi said he had "a few brief words" with Severino a day earlier. "Nothing earth-shattering," the manager said of their chat. "He's handled everything up to this point, he's bounced back after bad starts. I believe he's going to do it again."

Things could not have gone much worse for Severino in last Tuesday's wild-card game against Minnesota, when his first-career postseason start ended after one-third of an inning.

Severino gave up three runs on four hits — two of them homers — and exited to a healthy helping of boos with runners in scoring position. But the Yanks swung back against Ervin Santana, while Chad Green, David Robertson, Kahnle and closed out an 8-4 win.

In Monday's Game 4, Girardi probably didn't have Robertson available and Chapman — who warmed up in the ninth — might only have been used for an inning due to their recent workload.

The normally sure-handed Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela misplayed Starlin Castro's liner — which clanged off Urshela's lower leg — to open a scoring window in the home second.

Todd Frazier's two-out drive to left stayed just fair for an RBI double. Aaron Hicks (RBI) and Gardner followed with singles, and Judge fought back from an 0-and-2 count to rip a 3-and-2 double to left for a 4-0 lead, snapping his ALDS 0-for-11, with nine strikeouts.

Urshela's two-out throwing error on Gardner's bases-loaded grounder gave the Yanks a 5-0 lead in the third. Cleveland committed four errors on the night.

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