NEW YORK — Luis Severino is pitching like an ace for the New York Yankees, a year after his severe sophomore slump.Severino dominated reeling Cincinnati for seven innings,Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier homered and the Yankees beat the Reds 9-5 on Wednesday for a two-game sweep. New York has won consecutive series after going 0-8-2 in series after sweeping Baltimore from June 9-11. The Yankees, one game behind AL East-leading Boston, have stabilized by winning eight of 12 following a 7-19 slide. “Every good team needs that guy that goes out there every fifth day and gives us a chance to win, and cheap jerseys he’s been that guy for us,” CC Sabathia said. Severino (7-4) did not allow a runner past second base until the seventh, when he allowed a pair of unearned runs after Gregorius misplayed Scott Schebler’s leadoff grounder to shortstop. Severino struck out nine — eight swinging — many on a devastating slider. He threw 48 fastballs, 43 sliders and 21 changeups. And he made a nifty barehand grab to throw out Jose Peraza on a chopper for the final out in the seventh. “I thought he threw an outstanding game, and I thought he had command of everything today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Maybe some of the best stuff he’s had all year long.” Severino was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in the final two months of the 2015 season but was demoted to the minors for long stretches last year and even sent to the bullpen, finishing 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA with the Yankees. Mixing his pitches and showing better control, he has allowed one earned run in 21 innings since the All-Star break. “If there’s a guy that I haven’t seen before that looks like an ace, it’s that kid,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I mean it’s a quick arm, three pitches for strikes, he’ll throw them all in any count, and he throws `em with command. That’s a difference maker. That’s certainly a guy you can build a rotation around.” Gregorius hit his fourth homer in three games for the Yankees, who have won five of six heading into a series against AL rival Tampa Bay. Acquired last week from the Chicago White Sox, Todd Frazier hit a solo homer against Tony Cingrani that capped a five-run seventh , opening a 9-2 lead. “In the pinstripes, hitting a home run on your home turf, basically — you live an hour away. It’s pretty memorable,” said Frazier, who is from Toms River, New Jersey. “I know I’ll be getting a lot of texts from all my Yankee fan friends. It was cool. My parents are happy. Everybody’s happy.” Cincinnati has lost three straight and is 2-11 since the All-Star break. Homer Bailey (2-5) lost his third start in a row, giving up seven runs — five earned — and 10 hits in six-plus innings. Rookie Clint Frazier, taking advantage of playing time while Aaron Hicks recovers from an oblique strain, hit RBI singles in the third and fifth innings, and Chase Headley hit an RBI single in the sixth and scored on Ronald Torreyes’ groundout. Throwing errors by shortstop Jose Peraza and first baseman Joey Votto made the runs unearned. Eugenio Suarez stopped Severino’s scoreless streak at 17 innings with an RBI double in the seventh and scored on Tucker Barnhart’s groundout. Adam Duvall added a three-run homer in the eighth against Luis Cessa.
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