Severino, who fancies himself as the best hitter among the Yankees pitchers, playfully mocked Betances earlier on Tuesday and then handled the bat competently in the game. He lifted a fly ball to right in his first at-bat and then, after being unable to advance Romine — who had opened the fourth inning with a double — with a bunt, took an abbreviated but unabashed hack after showing bunt.
Severino fouled off the pitch, drawing oohs from the crowd and more giggles from the dugout, and on the next pitch, the Phillies ace Jake Arrieta bounced a curveball to the backstop that led to Romine’s artful slide.
Though Severino struck out, he had a hand — at least in a small way — in advancing Romine, who scored from third on a deep fly ball by Hicks.
Didi Gregorius followed with a solo homer into the left-field bleachers leading off the fifth to run the Yankees’ advantage to 6-0, which was the final indignity endured by Arrieta, who has been pedestrian since a scintillating April.
The damage might not have been so severe had Hernandez not made an errant flip to shortstop Mike Kingery, who dropped it as he was preparing to turn a 6-3 double play that would have ended the third inning with the Yankees leading by 1-0.
Instead, the bases were loaded with one out. Arrieta struck out Giancarlo Stanton, but Gleyber Torres lined a two-run single past a diving Franco and Greg Bird followed with a single to left to bring home another run, only his sixth run batted in.
The emphatic early lead allowed Severino, who improved to 12-2, to settle in. He allowed six hits and no walks, while striking out nine — including the final batter he faced. He threw a stress-free 103 pitches, which will likely allow the Yankees to bring him back on four days rest to pitch against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.
The Yankees will use a spot start by Luis Cessa on Wednesday night so they can push C. C. Sabathia back to open the weekend series against the Red Sox, games for which the Yankees figure to strike a more serious tone.