Luis Severino got the Yankees in trouble Monday night.
Lance Lynn finished them off.
Brought in with the bases loaded and no one out in the top of the fourth and the Yankees trailing by three runs, Lynn wasted no time in torching any chance they had of mounting a comeback against the Red Sox in a 16-1 Game 3 loss that gave Boston a 2-1 lead in the ALDS — and left the Yankees one defeat from elimination.
After Severino came out for the top of the fourth, despite getting battered for much of the first three innings, the right-hander gave up two singles and a walk before Aaron Boone finally pulled him in favor of Lynn.
The choice of Lynn seemed odd as Chad Green was available and much more experienced at coming into games in the middle of an inning with runners on base.
Lynn never looked comfortable in his brief outing. Pitching to Mookie Betts, Lynn even fell to the ground when he slipped on the mound before walking Betts on four pitches to force in a run to make it 4-0.
Then, against lefty-swinging Andrew Benintendi, Lynn got to 2-2 but allowed a bases-clearing double to right to give Boston a 7-0 advantage.
Lynn finally recorded an out when J.D. Martinez grounded to third, but Xander Bogaerts followed with a run-scoring single to left to finally end Lynn’s night.
Boone admitted he knew Lynn was unaccustomed to coming into the middle of an inning, but that was outweighed by the fact Boone believed Lynn gave the Yankees their “best chance” against right-handed hitters.
“He just didn’t really have it tonight,” Boone said. “But stuff-wise, the reason he’s down there and in that spot is for that part of the lineup. He just came in struggling right away with his command. So the inning just got away.”
After Green came in and gave up a single to Steve Pearce and a triple to Brock Holt, the Yankees were officially done and Lynn ended up allowing three runs in just one-third of an inning.
The 31-year-old Lynn, acquired from Minnesota before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in exchange for Tyler Austin and a pitching prospect, had plenty of postseason experience, having pitched in the playoffs in five straight years with St. Louis.
He had a miserable time with the Twins — pitching to a 5.10 ERA — before Lynn came to The Bronx on July 30. Lynn pitched well for the most part with the Yankees, but with Severino, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia locked into postseason rotation spots, he was pushed to the pen.
Lynn tossed two scoreless innings in relief in the Yankees’ 5-4 loss in Game 1, entering to start the bottom of the fifth.
Going into Monday’s game, Lynn had been hit hard during his career by Betts, who was 4-for-11 with a homer off him. But Lynn had been good against Benintendi (2-for-11), Martinez (3-for-19) and Bogaerts (2-for-16).