MINNEAPOLIS — Luis Severino said he and Gary Sanchez have ironed out the confusion they had with signs that affected them last week in Oakland, where the battery went dead.
“We fixed all the problems we had,’’ Severino said after the Twins handed the Yankees a 10-5 loss Tuesday night at Target Field.
That’s not all Severino and Sanchez need to fix Wednesday night, when the right-hander will hope to end a long slide that is part of the reason the Yankees are just two skinny games ahead of the Athletics in the chase for the top AL wild-card spot and the home field for the Oct. 3 game.
“Nobody here [feels] pressure. We have a great team,’’ Severino said. “We lose one game, that’s nothing. We have to come back [Wednesday].’’
It would be helpful if Severino resembled the pitcher he was in the first half instead of the one who has gone from serious contender for the AL Cy Young award to the outside looking in despite 17 wins.
Severino is a candidate to start the wild-card game, but he needs to improve Wednesday to keep himself in the discussion, which also includes J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka.
“[Starts] are all significant now. Obviously, we want to get Sevy going like he is capable of,’’ Aaron Boone said of the right-hander, who is 4-5 with a 6.83 ERA in his past 11 starts and has given up 76 hits (13 homers) in 55 ¹/₃ innings. “We felt he was starting to build a little bit of momentum and had a tough start in Oakland. We are really excited about his bullpen the other day.’’
Last Wednesday against the A’s, Severino gave up six runs (five earned) and six hits in 2 ²/₃ innings and absorbed an 8-2 defeat. Crossed signals led to Severino throwing two wild pitches and Sanchez being charged with two passed balls — all in the first inning. Severino will be working on six days’ rest.
“If we can get him rolling and get him right, obviously he is a game changer,’’ Boone said. “He is a guy we can match up with anybody in the sport when he is going well and [Wednesday] can be the start of that.’’
With Boone pairing Austin Romine with Sonny Gray on Tuesday, Sanchez was the DH and Giancarlo Stanton started in left field.
“I felt like it was a day, [Brett Gardner] has gotten beaten up a little bit the last couple of days so a day to give him a day [off],’’ Boone said of his left fielder, who went 2-for-5 in Monday night’s 7-2 victory. “Slide Gary into that DH slot and hopefully he continues to have good at-bats.’’
Sanchez, on Monday, easily had his best game since returning from the DL when he went 3-for-5 and hit a 460-foot homer. Tuesday wasn’t as good. He went 0-for-3, struck out twice, hit into a double play and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Yankees’ string of eight straight regular-season wins over the Yankees ended with Tuesday night’s loss. A win Wednesday night would give the Yankees their 13th consecutive season-series win against the Twins.