Hicks homers twice, Yanks beat Rays 3-2 to move over .500

NEW YORK (AP) Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino, two of the Yankees' biggest disappointments last year, combined to push them over .500 for the first time this season.

Hicks homered twice, including a go-ahead, two-run drive in the seventh inning , and Severino won as a starter for the first time since September 2015 in a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night that completed a three-game sweep.

Severino was 0-8 as a starter last year and winless in his previous 13 starts. The 23-year-old right-hander, who impressed in going 5-3 during the final two months of the 2015 season, had wondered whether the Yankees saw his future in the bullpen.

Severino (1-0) struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings , including four of his last five batters. He allowed two runs, five hits and one walk as New York won its fourth in a row following a 1-4 start.

''Tonight he showed us what he's capable of doing,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Expected to be a key part of the rotation last year, Severino was demoted to the minors in May and split time between the bullpen and rotation when he returned.

''Sometimes I tried to overthrow it to make it perfect,'' he said. ''This year I'm trying to throw more changeups and command my fastball better.''

Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks hit .217 with 31 RBIs in a miserable first season with New York. He was beaten out by Aaron Judge for the right fielder's job during spring training.

''Of course it took me a couple of days when you get disappointments like that,'' Hicks said.

Starting because of an injury to Brett Gardner, Hicks improved his average to .313 with five RBIs.

Girardi remembered back to his conversation with Hicks last month.

''I saw the disappointment in his face. It wasn't easy, because I thought he had a pretty good spring training, too, and I just said you're opportunities are going to come and you've just got to make sure that you're ready,'' Girardi said. ''I give him a lot of credit because I thought he turned the page really quickly.''

Hicks homered in the first off Matt Andriese batting left-handed and connected right-handed against Xavier Cedeno to erase a 2-1 deficit. Ronald Torreyes singled with one out in the seventh off Erasmo Ramirez, and Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in Cedeno (1-1), the only lefty in his bullpen. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a forceout, and Hicks sent a changeup into the left-field seats.

''My arm is good shape and, obviously, my pitches are not where I want them to be,'' Cedeno said. ''It'll probably get better - I mean it has to get better in the next few days.''

Dellin Betances pitched out of trouble in the eighth after Jesus Sucre walked and took third on Corey Dickerson's single. Betances froze Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria with sliders for called third strikes, then picked up Brad Miller's slow roller to the right side and tagged him just before first base.

Aroldis Chapman reached 100 mph on nine of 20 pitches in the ninth, when he allowed Logan Morrison's one-out single, threw a called third strike past Daniel Robertson and retired Peter Bourjos on a flyout.

Tampa Bay batters struck out 15 times as the Rays dropped to 5-5.

Sucre's two-out RBI single tied the score in the second and Bourjos homered in the fifth, two innings after he entered because of Mallex Smith's tight right hamstring.

When the sweep was over, Rays manager Kevin Cash expressed confidence in Cedeno and his team.

''He's just in one of those little funks right now,'' he said. ''He'll work through it.''

ON FIRE

The Yankee Stadium scoreboard flashed flames each time it revealed a velocity of 100 mph or more for Chapman.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

Cedeno said he saw a signal that the infield would be back before turning to second on Gardner's seventh-inning comebacker Wednesday and realizing the fielders had moved in and no one was covering the base. Cedeno bounced a rushed throw to first for an error as Gardner and Rickie Weeks Jr. collided, and the go-ahead run scored.

''I should have stepped off the rubber and looked back and see where the infielders were,'' Cedeno said. ''I totally take the blame for it.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Gardner (bruised jaw, sore neck) and Weeks (bruised right shoulder joint) didn't play. Gardner passed a concussion protocol. ''My baseline was probably pretty low in the first place,'' he quipped and then added of Weeks: ''I picked a bad guy to run into.'' Weeks, like Gardner, maintained he could play Thursday if needed. ''I'm happy to be alive right now,'' he said.

Rays: Smith said he felt his hamstring tighten during a rundown in the second. ''I don't think this will keep me sidelined for too long,'' he added.

Yankees: 1B Greg Bird started after missing four games because of a sore right ankle and a stomach ailment and went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, dropping to 1 for 20 this season.

UP NEXT

Rays: Chris Archer (1-0) went ahead of the team by train to Boston for Friday's matchup against the Red Sox and RHP Rick Porcello (1-0).

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (0-1) takes an 11.74 ERA over two starts into Friday night's game against St. Louis and RHP Michael Wacha (1-0).

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
RaysTB5-5
010010000270
YankeesNYY5-4
10000020X370
  • W: L. Severino (1-0)L: X. Cedeno (1-1)S: A. Chapman (2)
  • HR: TB - P. Bourjos (1), NYY - A. Hicks 2 (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Dickerson DH40200000.324.359.568.9272.0
K. Kiermaier CF40000033.237.341.316.657-1.5
E. Longoria 3B40100023.222.326.417.7420.0
B. Miller 2B40000034.143.268.171.440-1.5
S. Souza RF40000031.306.405.500.905-1.5
L. Morrison 1B31100110.323.344.516.8602.5
D. Robertson SS40000032.235.278.235.513-1.5
M. Smith CF10100000.273.360.318.6781.0
P. Bourjos LF31111001.200.333.500.8336.0
J. Sucre C20110100.333.400.6671.0673.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Ellsbury CF31000112.290.333.452.7851.5
    A. Hicks LF32232101.313.476.7501.22614.0
    M. Holliday DH30000100.276.462.448.9101.0
    S. Castro 2B30100113.333.351.444.7962.5
    C. Headley 3B40100012.375.459.5941.0530.5
    G. Bird 1B40000033.050.136.100.236-1.5
    A. Judge RF30000112.276.364.621.9840.5
    A. Romine C30200000.250.333.333.6673.0
    R. Torreyes SS30100003.250.250.429.6791.0
      BATTING
      • HR - P. Bourjos
      • RBI - P. Bourjos (2), J. Sucre (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Sucre (4)
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Castro, A. Romine
      • HR - A. Hicks 2 (2)
      • RBI - A. Hicks 3 (5)
      • 2-Out RBI - A. Hicks 2 (3)
      BASERUNNING
      • Picked Off - A. Judge
      FIELDING
      • DP - L. Morrison, D. Robertson, B. Miller
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - J. Ellsbury
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Andriese6.05113514.501.3314.5
      E. Ramirez (H, 2)0.11110004.763.00-2.0
      X. Cedeno (L, 1-1) (BS, 2)0.11110019.003.00-7.0
      T. Hunter0.10000000.000.000.0
      D. Farquhar1.00002201.592.002.0
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Andriese6.0
      E. Ramirez (H, 2)0.1
      X. Cedeno (L, 1-1) (BS, 2)0.1
      T. Hunter0.1
      D. Farquhar1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      L. Severino (W, 1-0)7.052211114.500.8628.5
      D. Betances (H, 1)1.01001202.702.002.0
      A. Chapman (S, 2)1.01000200.001.0010.0
      PITCHERSIP
      L. Severino (W, 1-0)7.0
      D. Betances (H, 1)1.0
      A. Chapman (S, 2)1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - M. Andriese (2), D. Farquhar
      • IBB - D. Farquhar
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Andriese 99-69, E. Ramirez 4-2, X. Cedeno 4-3, T. Hunter 6-3, D. Farquhar 20-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Andriese 8-4, X. Cedeno 1-0, T. Hunter 1-0
      • Batters Faced - M. Andriese 25, E. Ramirez 2, X. Cedeno 2, T. Hunter, D. Farquhar 4
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - L. Severino 104-70, D. Betances 22-14, A. Chapman 20-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Severino 4-5, D. Betances 1-0
      • Batters Faced - L. Severino 26, D. Betances 5, A. Chapman 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      RaysTB5-5
      010010000270
      YankeesNYY5-4
      10000020X370
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      C. Dickerson DH40200000.324.359.568.9272.0
      K. Kiermaier CF40000033.237.341.316.657-1.5
      E. Longoria 3B40100023.222.326.417.7420.0
      B. Miller 2B40000034.143.268.171.440-1.5
      S. Souza RF40000031.306.405.500.905-1.5
      L. Morrison 1B31100110.323.344.516.8602.5
      D. Robertson SS40000032.235.278.235.513-1.5
      M. Smith CF10100000.273.360.318.6781.0
      P. Bourjos LF31111001.200.333.500.8336.0
      J. Sucre C20110100.333.400.6671.0673.0
      Total33272121514-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        J. Ellsbury CF31000112.290.333.452.7851.5
        A. Hicks LF32232101.313.476.7501.22614.0
        M. Holliday DH30000100.276.462.448.9101.0
        S. Castro 2B30100113.333.351.444.7962.5
        C. Headley 3B40100012.375.459.5941.0530.5
        G. Bird 1B40000033.050.136.100.236-1.5
        A. Judge RF30000112.276.364.621.9840.5
        A. Romine C30200000.250.333.333.6673.0
        R. Torreyes SS30100003.250.250.429.6791.0
        Total2937325716-----
          BATTING
          • HR - P. Bourjos
          • RBI - P. Bourjos (2), J. Sucre (4)
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Sucre (4)
          BATTING
          • 2B - S. Castro, A. Romine
          • HR - A. Hicks 2 (2)
          • RBI - A. Hicks 3 (5)
          • 2-Out RBI - A. Hicks 2 (3)
          BASERUNNING
          • Picked Off - A. Judge
          FIELDING
          • DP - L. Morrison, D. Robertson, B. Miller
          FIELDING
          • Outfield Assist - J. Ellsbury
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          M. Andriese6.05113514.501.3314.5
          E. Ramirez (H, 2)0.11110004.763.00-2.0
          X. Cedeno (L, 1-1) (BS, 2)0.11110019.003.00-7.0
          T. Hunter0.10000000.000.000.0
          D. Farquhar1.00002201.592.002.0
          Total8.0733572---
          PITCHERSIP
          M. Andriese6.0
          E. Ramirez (H, 2)0.1
          X. Cedeno (L, 1-1) (BS, 2)0.1
          T. Hunter0.1
          D. Farquhar1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          L. Severino (W, 1-0)7.052211114.500.8628.5
          D. Betances (H, 1)1.01001202.702.002.0
          A. Chapman (S, 2)1.01000200.001.0010.0
          Total9.07222151---
          PITCHERSIP
          L. Severino (W, 1-0)7.0
          D. Betances (H, 1)1.0
          A. Chapman (S, 2)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - M. Andriese (2), D. Farquhar
          • IBB - D. Farquhar
          • Pitches-Strikes - M. Andriese 99-69, E. Ramirez 4-2, X. Cedeno 4-3, T. Hunter 6-3, D. Farquhar 20-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Andriese 8-4, X. Cedeno 1-0, T. Hunter 1-0
          • Batters Faced - M. Andriese 25, E. Ramirez 2, X. Cedeno 2, T. Hunter, D. Farquhar 4
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - L. Severino 104-70, D. Betances 22-14, A. Chapman 20-13
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Severino 4-5, D. Betances 1-0
          • Batters Faced - L. Severino 26, D. Betances 5, A. Chapman 4
          • 7TH INNING
            Hicks homered to left, Ellsbury scored23
          • 5TH INNING
            Bourjos homered to left21
          • 2ND INNING
            Sucre singled to center, Morrison scored, Smith out at third11
          • 1ST INNING
            Hicks homered to right01
          • 9TH INNING
            • A. Chapman Pitching:
            • S. Souza: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Souza struck out swinging
            • L. Morrison: Strike looking, Morrison singled to deep center
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
            • P. Bourjos: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Bourjos flied out to center
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • D. Betances Pitching:
            • J. Sucre: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Sucre walked
            • C. Dickerson: Dickerson singled to deep center, Sucre to third
            • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Kiermaier struck out looking
            • E. Longoria: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Longoria struck out looking
            • B. Miller: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Miller grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • D. Farquhar Pitching:
            • S. Castro: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Castro walked
            • C. Headley: Ball, Castro to second on wild pitch, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Headley struck out swinging
            • G. Bird: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Bird struck out swinging
            • A. Judge: Judge intentionally walked
            • A. Romine: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Judge picked off at first, catcher to first
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • L. Morrison: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Morrison struck out looking
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
            • P. Bourjos: Ball, Bourjos popped out to second
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • E. Ramirez Pitching:
            • A. Romine: Romine flied out to deep right
            • R. Torreyes: Ball, Ball, Torreyes reached on an infield single
            • J. Ellsbury: Ellsbury reached on fielder's choice to second, Torreyes out at second
            • A. Hicks: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Hicks homered to left, Ellsbury scored
            • M. Holliday: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Holliday grounded out to third
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Kiermaier struck out looking
            • E. Longoria: Ball, Ball, Longoria singled to deep left
            • B. Miller: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Miller struck out swinging
            • S. Souza: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Souza struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • S. Castro: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Castro doubled to deep left
            • C. Headley: Strike looking, Headley flied out to left
            • G. Bird: Bird lined out to left
            • A. Judge: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Judge grounded out to third
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • D. Robertson: Robertson flied out to deep center
            • P. Bourjos: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bourjos homered to left
            • J. Sucre: Sucre flied out to deep right
            • C. Dickerson: Foul, Foul, Dickerson flied out to center
            • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • J. Ellsbury: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ellsbury walked
            • A. Hicks: Hicks grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Ellsbury out at second
            • M. Holliday: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Holliday popped out to first
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • B. Miller: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Miller struck out looking
            • S. Souza: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Souza grounded out to third
            • L. Morrison: Morrison lined out to right
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • C. Headley: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Headley singled to right
            • G. Bird: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Bird struck out looking
            • A. Judge: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Judge struck out on foul tip
            • A. Romine: Strike looking, Romine doubled to deep right, Headley to third
            • R. Torreyes: Foul, Ball, Ball, Torreyes lined out to center
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • C. Dickerson: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Dickerson grounded out to shortstop
            • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
            • E. Longoria: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Longoria struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • A. Romine: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Romine singled to right center
            • R. Torreyes: Foul, Torreyes grounded out to third, Romine to second
            • J. Ellsbury: Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ellsbury grounded out to first, Romine to third
            • A. Hicks: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Hicks walked
            • M. Holliday: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Hicks to second on wild pitch, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Holliday walked
            • S. Castro: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Castro struck out swinging
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • S. Souza: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Souza struck out looking
            • L. Morrison: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Morrison walked
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
            • M. Smith: Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Smith reached on an infield single, Morrison to second
            • J. Sucre: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Sucre singled to center, Morrison scored, Smith out at third
            • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • C. Headley: Ball, Strike looking, Headley grounded out to second
            • G. Bird: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Bird struck out swinging
            • A. Judge: Strike looking, Ball, Judge grounded out to second
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • L. Severino Pitching:
            • C. Dickerson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Dickerson singled to left
            • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier reached on fielder's choice to second, Dickerson out at second
            • E. Longoria: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Longoria reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Kiermaier out at second
            • B. Miller: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Miller struck out looking
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • M. Andriese Pitching:
            • J. Ellsbury: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ellsbury struck out looking
            • A. Hicks: Strike looking, Ball, Hicks homered to right
            • M. Holliday: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Holliday grounded out to shortstop
            • S. Castro: Strike looking, Ball, Castro grounded out to third
            • End of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)