'Dogs' Severino bounces back in fine fashion

Yankees' No. 9 prospect pitches six scoreless innings, allows two hits

In his first full season, Luis Severino is 1-1 with a 2.68 ERA over 11 South Atlantic League starts. (Charleston RiverDogs)

By Mark Emery / MiLB.com | May 31, 2014 1:55 AM ET

In his last outing, Charleston's Luis Severino surrendered more than three runs in one game for the first time all season.

It must have left a bad taste in his mouth because the right-hander didn't allow any against Asheville on Friday.

The Yankees' No. 9 prospect turned in six scoreless frames, iving up two hits while punching out five without issuing a walk. Though he exited with a lead, Class A Charleston dropped a 4-3 decision to the Tourists at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park

"He's living up to basically the hype," RiverDogs pitching coach Carlos Chantres said. "He's been pitching good. Every time I see him, he's going good. I think he had one bad outing, his last outing, in Hickory. But other than that, he's been going deep in games for us, and that's all you can ask for from a starter."

Across 11 starts, Severino is 1-1 with a 2.68 ERA. He's racked up 52 strikeouts against 10 walks (not including one intentional) while holding opponents to a .238 batting average.

Both of the hits allowed by the 20-year-old on Friday came off the bat of Raimel Tapia, Colorado's eighth-ranked prospect. Tapia -- who went 3-for-3 with a walk -- hit a two-out double off Severino in the first inning before singling with one out in the fourth.

Severino faced 19 batters, one more than the minimum for six innings. He threw 52 of 73 pitches for strikes, recording nine groundouts and one flyout.

"He established his fastball, especially early in the game, to both sides of the plate," Chantres said. "He kept everything down in the zone and pitched in well to both righties and lefties."

In his first full season and third professional campaign after signing with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in July 2012, Severino entered May having never pitched six innings in a game before. He accomplished that feat in four of his six appearances this month.

"If you can get six innings from any starter, I think any club will take that," Chantres said. "Obviously, if his pitch count's down, we'll let him go seven, eight innings."

Severino's stellar performance came on the heels of a disastrous outing in Hickory, where he was tagged for seven runs -- all in the fourth inning -- and eight hits over 3 1/3 frames.

"He got behind a couple hitters and left a couple pitches up," Chantres said. "It happened so quick. We've been looking at video. Everything was up."

That wasn't the case Friday, when Severino demonstrated his impressive repertoire. And while that arsenal has been getting the job done at Class A, that doesn't mean it couldn't stand to improve.

"I would say he's got to work on his slider. If he gets his slider down, he'll move up the ladder pretty quick," Chantres said. "If he can establish his slider to both righties and lefties, that will probably get him moving up faster."

With reliever Omar Luis in for the seventh, Asheville scored four runs on a two-RBI single from Wilfredo Rodriguez and a two-run homer by Ashley Graeter.

Charleston cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double by Yankees No. 8 prospect Aaron Judge but lost its third straight.

Mark Emery is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Emery. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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