Michael King escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam created by Aroldis Chapman to preserve the New York Yankees’ 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night after Luis Severino became the first pitcher to strike out Vladimir Guerrero Jr. three times.
Guerrero struck out four times in all for the first time in his career, a night after hitting three homers and going 4 for 4.
Handed a 3-0 lead, Chapman threw just four of 16 pitches for strikes. He walked the bottom three batters in Toronto’s order: Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal and pinch-hitter Matt Champman.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone removed Chapman in favor of King, a 26-year-old right-hander.
In the first save opportunity of his big league career, King struck out George Springer on three pitches, throwing a fastball for a called third strike.
With Guerrero in the on-deck circle, Bo Bichette took a called strike, then hit a soft liner to second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who threw to first to double off Matt Chapman for the final out. The Yankees shut out Toronto for the second time in the four-game series.
Severino (1-0) allowed two hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two. Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro, Clay Holmes and Chad Green followed before the ninth-inning drama.
Following a 95-minute rain delay, Severino got his first win as a starting pitcher since Sept. 22, 2019, also against Toronto. He threw 83 pitches, 18 more than his season debut on Saturday against Boston and he averaged 97.4 mph for 33 fastballs.
Jose Trevino hit RBI singles in the third and fifth inning off Kevin Gausman (0-1) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa also had three hits and scored on Trevino’s hits. New York’s Nos. 8-9 hitters entered 4 for 43 with one RBI.
Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI groundout in the eighth.
Guerrero struck out in the first on a changeup, took a called third strike on a cutter on the outside corner in the third and whiffed on another Severino changeup in the fifth. He struck out o a slider from Holmes opening the eighth.
Gausman allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked none.
Blue Jays: OF Teoscar Hernandez was placed on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain and manager Charlie Montoyo is optimistic it will be a short absence. Hernandez was injured in the sixth inning on Wednesday. RHP Ryan Borucki (strained right hamstring) will throw one inning in a simulated game at the spring training complex in Dunedin on Friday. INF Gosuke Katoh was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Hernandez
Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (0-0, 9.00 ERA) will start against Athletics RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Friday night in Toronto.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (0-0, 8.10 ERA) will start against Orioles RHP Jordan Lyles (0-1, 9.00 ERA) Friday night in Baltimore. Montgomery took a 103 mph comebacker off his left knee from Boston’s Xander Bogaerts on Sunday.