BOSTON — For the first time this young season Luis Severino didn’t have it.
For not even close to the first time in 2018, neither did the Yankees offense nor their bullpen.
Facing Red Sox ace Chris Sale, those problems led to a somewhat predictable result, a 14-1 annihilation in front of 32,357 on a frigid 38-degree night at Fenway Park.
The loss was the fourth in five games for the Yankees (5-6), who dropped below .500 for the first time this year.
“Just a crappy night all around,” manager Aaron Boone said. “That’s no fun getting beat up like that, especially having your ace going. Certainly not the way we wanted to start the trip but you also turn the page from it.”
The defending AL East champion Red Sox (9-1) got a third straight dominant start by Sale and a 4-for-4, five-run night from Mookie Betts that included a grand slam, extending the Red Sox’s best start in franchise history.
Severino (2-1) was hit throughout a five-inning outing in which he allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks as his ERA rose from 1.30 to 3.50. He struck out six. Boston scored one run in the first, three in the second and one in the fourth to lead 5-0.
“I didn’t finish with my slider, I was always in the middle [of the plate],” Severino said. “My fastball was good, changeup was good, too. The slider wasn’t good.”
If there was one silver lining to the mostly across-the-board night of awfulness for the Yankees, who did have 10 hits compared with Boston’s 11, it was Giancarlo Stanton’s last two at-bats.
After enduring a homestand in which he went 3-for-28, including 16 strikeouts, and striking out in his first two at-bats against Sale, Stanton singled in the fifth inning against the lefthander and doubled in the eighth against righthander Brian Johnson.
“Much better,” Stanton said. “Saw the ball better, was on time. It was good progress.”
Perhaps lost a bit in Stanton’s early-season struggles have been those of catcher Gary Sanchez, though that likely won’t be the case for long. The designated hitter Tuesday, Sanchez went 0-for-4, giving him a 2-for-36 start.
Sale (1-0, 1.06), who was 0-3 with a 2.65 ERA in five starts against the Yankees last season, allowed one run and eight hits in six innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
The lone run came on a long home run by Aaron Judge, the rightfielder’s third of the season, a rocket to center in the fifth inning that cut the Yankees’ deficit to 5-1. Judge came into the night 0-for-12 with 10 strikeouts in his career against Sale but went 3-for-3 against him on Tuesday.
“It was a tough game, a tough loss,” Judge said. “Nothing was really working for us.”
Tommy Kahnle and Chasen Shreve took care of any slim chances of a comeback in the sixth, combining to allow nine runs that made it a laugher. Six of the runs were unearned because of Miguel Andujar’s error with two outs that came with Shreve on the mound. But that was a mere technicality as neither Kahnle nor Shreve pitched well.
After Andujar’s error loaded the bases, Shreve walked in a run, then served one up to Betts, who clobbered a grand slam over the Monster in left that nearly left the ballpark and made it 14-1. Kahnle, who had a 2.70 ERA last season but has allowed runs in two of his last four outings to run his ERA to 7.11, preceded Shreve and allowed five runs [three earned], two hits and three walks.
“It’s a long season, you’re going to have your ups and downs,” Kahnle said of the bullpen, though he easily could have been discussing the club overall. “Right now we’re just scuffling.”