BOSTON — A stellar 4 1⁄3-inning relief outing six days before against the Mets earned Luis Severino back his rotation spot. He didn’t do much Tuesday night to keep it.
The righthander struggled in his first start since May 13, lasting only 4 1⁄3 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Red Sox in front of 38,089 at Fenway Park.
“That’s a good lineup,” Joe Girardi said. “If you don’t make your pitches, they’re going to make you pay.”
Severino (1-7) lost his starting spot after falling to 0-6 May 13. He was spotted an early 2-0 lead but allowed five runs — two in the third and three in the fifth — and seven hits.
The Yankees scored on Chase Headley’s double in the second and on Brian McCann’s single in the third. They stranded nine and fell back to .500 (56-56).
It was a game that did not feature Alex Rodriguez, and there were loud “We want A-Rod!” chants throughout the ninth from Red Sox fans.
Girardi let the mostly unproductive Aaron Hicks, with a man on and trailing 5-2, face closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs rather than have A-Rod pinch hit. Hicks walked against Kimbrel, as did Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury to force in a run. With the bases full, Matt Barnes caught Mark Teixeira looking.
“How am I supposed to react?” Girardi said of the chants. “I have to do what I think is best. I liked the at-bat Hicksie gave us.”
The game also had a benches-clearing incident, albeit with nothing more than some yelling.
It occurred in the sixth after the Red Sox (61-50) took a 5-2 lead. Headley led off against Rick Porcello (15-3) with a drive to deep center. Headley tried for third but was thrown out, on a close play, by Jackie Bradley Jr. As Headley hovered around the bag, waiting to see if the Yankees would challenge, he started walking and shouting at Porcello, who had been yelling at him. Neither player would divulge the cause of the tiff.
“He said his piece, I said my piece,” Headley said. “We’re both competitors. We’ll leave it on the field. I have no idea. I was shocked. I had no idea what he was talking about when he said what he said.”
Porcello allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings.
The Red Sox tied it in the third on a two-run double by Dustin Pedroia, who doubled twice and drove in three runs.
Boston knocked out Severino in the fifth. Sandy Leon’s hard shot to right turned into a triple when Hicks attempted a sliding stop of the ball near the wall but saw it skitter away. Rookie Andrew Benintendi’s blast to center appeared to hit on the yellow line separating the Monster from the seats. After the Yankees challenged, the call was overturned to a double. Pedroia and David Ortiz had RBI hits in the inning to make it 5-2.