Luis Severino shines for Mets in big test vs. Royals

Luis Severino faced a tall task on Friday as the Royals entered Citi Field on a seven-game winning streak with 24 runs scored over their last two games.

But the Mets right-hander had a simple strategy: just attack.

“This is a really good team that has been hot in the last seven games,” Severino said. “I’m not trying to just strike out everyone. Get some quick outs and ground balls.”

That mindset paid dividends for Severino, who allowed just one hit – a solo home run to Salvador Perez in the second inning – over five innings while striking out four.

At one point, Severino retired eight consecutive batters, but ran into some trouble in the fifth when he had walked two batters and the Royals’ young phenom Bobby Witt Jr. stepped up to the plate with two outs.

Severino got ahead in the count and on a 2-2 pitch, threw a sweeper out of the zone that Witt tried to check his swing but could not, thus ending the threat.

“He’s a great young hitter,” Severino said. “Just get ahead of the count and throw a good pitch to finish.”

It was the last batter Severino would face, although he believes he could have pitched another inning. Nevertheless, through three starts, Severino now has a 3.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched, including back-to-back starts where he has allowed three or fewer hits.

“I feel like I’m getting close,” Severino said. “The only bad pitch today was to Salvador. It was not a terrible pitch, but he’s a good hitter. Just try to limit the walks, every thing else I feel really good.”

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