BALTIMORE — Following three seasons in which he didn’t pitch much, it’s hard to know what this season has in store for Luis Severino.
Monday night provided another indication that the right-hander will be able to at least approach the standard he set when he was among the best pitchers in the majors before being sidetracked by injuries.
Severino allowed just one hit in six innings in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards, sparked also by three homers from the offense — including a three-run shot by Jose Trevino in the fourth.
The lone hit given up by Severino was a leadoff homer by Anthony Santander in the bottom of the fourth and was followed by a walk to Ramon Urias.
And then Severino closed his outing by retiring the final nine batters he saw, as the Yankees won for the seventh time in their last eight games.
The victory left them at 26-9, which ties the third-best 35-game start in franchise history — matching the 1998 team that won 114 regular-season games en route to a World Series title.
And just when you think there might be a weakness to be concerned about, it’s fixed.
Severino had three impressive outings to start the year, but was shaky in the three starts heading into Monday, with a 5.74 ERA over 15 ²/₃ innings in those last three outings.
The Orioles, who have lost four in a row and five of six, were no match for him.
“Each year, I want to grow as a pitcher,’’ Severino said. “I’m not thinking about how many people I can strike out.”
The Yankees’ offense had already given Severino a comfortable margin to work with, thanks mainly to a three-run homer by Trevino, his first home run as a Yankee. Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers in the ninth.
The game got off to a bit of a rough start, as the Yankees left the bases loaded in the top of the first without scoring.
Joey Gallo, who struck out four times, dropped a Cedric Mullins fly ball near the line to start the bottom of the first for a three-base error.
After Severino walked Trey Mancini, Santander lined out softly to second, where Gleyber Torres made a diving catch to his left.
Mancini, caught in no-man’s land, ran towards second and was easily doubled up.
Aaron Boone called it “the play of the game,” as Severino was having a hard time with his command, but cruised following the double play.
“That was humongous,’’ Boone said. “I didn’t even consider Gleyber making that play. … [Severino] took it from there.”
The Yankees had picked up a run in the third on Giancarlo Stanton’s two-out double to left-center that scored Rizzo from first. But Stanton got caught in a rundown between second and third to end the inning.
Trevino then snapped an 11 at-bat hitless streak by slamming one off the foul pole in right to make it 4-0.
Rizzo and Donaldson added ninth-inning solo shots before Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in the bottom of the inning.
The last time the Yankees visited Camden Yards, they lost two of three and fell to .500 10 games into the season.
What a difference a month makes.
They now look like the best team in the American League and their biggest questions involve subjects like how to preserve Severino for the long season.
Boone said before the game the team hasn’t discussed an innings limit, but added that they could push back an occasional start or take him out early on days the bullpen is rested in an effort to preserve his innings.
“We’re encouraged by what we’re seeing,” Boone said.
That goes for Severino and most of the rest of the team.
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