Randy Vasquez #98 of the Yankees walks to the dugout during...

Randy Vasquez #98 of the Yankees walks to the dugout during the sixth inning as he leaves the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, June 8, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

An Aaron Judge-less Yankees lineup wasn’t the issue on Thursday afternoon.

Pitching, on the other hand, very much was.

With Luis Severino hit hard a second straight start and the typically reliable Michael King also bit by the long ball, the Yankees fell to the White Sox, 6-5, in the first game of a straight double header at the Stadium.

“Usually, we’re going to make five runs stand up,” Aaron Boone said between games.

Five would have been plenty in the nightcap, a 3-0 Yankees’ victory in which rookie pitching prospect Randy Vasquez threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his first major-league win. Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney, who replaced Judge on the roster, each hit home runs.

“Disappointed that I never got to get a hit in Yankee Stadium as a home player,” said McKinney, who played two games with the Yankees in 2018. “That meant a lot.”

The performances allowed the Yankees (37-27) to split the doubleheader and avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the White Sox (28-36).

The 24-year-old Vasquez, starting in place of the injured Nestor Cortes, was terrific in his second big-league start, allowing just two hits and a walk in an 86-pitch outing. He struck out three.

“He’s not scared. You saw that in his first outing against the Padres,” said righty reliever Ron Marinaccio, who took over for Vasquez with two on and two outs in the sixth and struck out four over 2 1/3 innings.

Vasquez, in a spot-start against the Padres May 26, allowed two runs and four hits over 4 2/3 innings of what would be a 5-1 loss.

“I’m the type of pitcher who pitches to his strengths,” Vasquez said through his interpreter.

On this night it was a nasty sinker, which Vasquez called a “very good pitch tonight,” though Boone said “all of his stuff was playing,” a repertoire that also included a cutter, breaking ball and four-seam fastball. Vasquez at one point retired 15 straight.

Torres, who failed to come through in a big spot in the bottom of the ninth inning in the first game, hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Mike Clevinger to make it 2-0. Clevinger retired the first nine Yankees before Willie Calhoun, who had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs in Game 1, led off the fourth with a double. Torres followed with his 10th homer of the season.

McKinney, who had nine homers with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the time of his promotion, made it 3-0 in the fifth.

Unlike in the first game when the bullpen couldn’t hold a late lead, there were no issues there in the second game. After the longest outing of Marinaccio’s career, Clay Holmes threw a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in nine chances.

King, who entered Thursday with a 1.65 ERA in 19 appearances and having allowed just one homer, allowed a leadoff double to Luis Robert Jr., then Eloy Jimenez’s two-run shot that made it a 6-5 game.

The Yankees had nine hits in the afternoon — compared to six in the nightcap — getting two each from Calhoun, Jake Bauers and catcher Kyle Higashioka. Calhoun’s two-run homer in the fourth tied it at 4. Bauers doubled and scored in the fifth, on Oswaldo Cabrera’s two-out RBI single, to make it 5-4.

The Yankees put the first two batters on in the ninth against Kendall Graveman, but Torres popped out and Anthony Rizzo hit into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Severino, his velocity down a couple of miles per hour in his previous outing against the Dodgers when he allowed seven runs and nine hits over four innings, wasn’t that bad Thursday.

But the righthander, excellent in his first two starts after coming off the injured list May 21, wasn’t good, either, struggling again with fastball location.

Severino allowed four runs and six hits, including three homers, over five innings. He walked two and struck out six.

"I’m not sure what’s going on,” Severino said regarding his fastball, a bread-and-butter pitch that again was down a tick velocity-wise and a pitch he only got one swing-and-miss on Thursday. “The bottom line is I need to fix it.”

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