CHICAGO — With Luis Severino’s continued struggles this season, the Yankees tried something different Wednesday as they attempt to get him on track.
But using Severino out of the bullpen, as part of an opener strategy in which he piggybacked reliever Ian Hamilton, yielded similar results for the 29-year-old — and similar questions.
Severino allowed four runs in two-plus innings, surrendering five hits — including a home run — in the Yankees’ 9-2 loss to the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Severino entered the day with a 7.74 ERA in 13 starts this season. With a 13.85 ERA in the first inning, in which opponents were hitting .436/.507/.790 against him, the Yankees hoped bringing him in after an opener would provide a softer landing.
“Just taking a little pressure off that first, the top of the order, that first go-around,” manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “Hopefully, get him in there at a better spot where he can take off. He’s shown flashes of it within his starts.”
Severino’s numbers have been better in the second inning this season, but his struggles go beyond a rough opening frame. Entering Wednesday, he had a 4.15 ERA in the second, 8.53 in the third, 4.76 in the fourth and 7.36 in the fifth.
He took over for Hamilton in the second on Wednesday and gave up a leadoff double to Yoán Moncada, an RBI single to Yasmani Grandal and a two-run homer to Oscar Colás. In the third, Moncada added an RBI double that gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead. After Severino issued a leadoff walk to Grandal in the fourth, Boone went to the bullpen again.
The Yankees dropped the three-game series to the White Sox with the loss.