By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Luis Severino was a bit erratic in his third and final start of the regular season, with four walks and a throwing error over three innings, and the AL East champion New York Yankees lost 9-4 to the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Rougned Odor had a career-high six RBIs for the Rangers, including his 30th homer that was a grand slam in the sixth to make it 8-1.
Odor put the Rangers ahead to stay with a two-run double in the first, the only hit and runs allowed by Severino (1-1). The right-hander had already walked two batters and committed his error on a pickoff attempt by then.
Severino will go into the playoffs having pitched only 12 innings for the Yankees this season after recovering from a lat injury that had sidelined him since spring training. A 19-game winner in 2018, he struck out four while throwing 72 pitches against 14 Texas batters. He had tossed nine scoreless innings before that, four against the Los Angeles Angels and five against Toronto with nine strikeouts last Sunday.
The Rangers played the final night game at their ballpark before moving across the street to a new stadium next season. A day game Sunday wraps up the 26th and final season at the stadium that opened in 1994 as The Ballpark in Arlington.
Odor raised his batting average from .202 to .204, still the lowest among the 136 major league qualifiers.
Yankees leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu went 0 for 3, his average slipping two points to .329. He trailed White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (.337) for the major league lead. Anderson didn’t play in the first game of Chicago’s doubleheader before going 0 for 2 in the nightcap.
The Yankees led 1-0 after Aaron Judge tripled on a towering flyball to the left-center gap in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner. They didn’t score again until Didi Gregorius had a three-run triple with two outs in the ninth.
Jonathan Hernández (2-1), the second of six Texas pitchers, threw two scoreless innings.
After the four walks by Severino, six Yankees relievers combined for seven more free passes and hit another batter.
Luis Cessa walked four in 1 1/3 innings, including one with the bases loaded an out before Odor hit an estimated 440-foot shot off Nestor Cortes Jr. for his second grand slam this season.
The Rangers had five stolen bases, including two double steals in the first inning. They lead the majors with 128 stolen bases, 11 more than Kansas City. The Rangers have never finished a season with the most stolen bases in the majors. They led the American League with 126 in 1972, the franchise’s first season in Texas, but were second in the majors behind Cincinnati’s 140.
Yankees: New York got encouraging news about another starter when an MRI showed only nerve irritation for James Paxton. The lefty was removed after the first inning of the series opener Friday night, his last start before the playoffs, because of tightness and discomfort in his buttocks.
Paxton, who had won 10 consecutive starts before that no-decision in the Yankees’ 14-7 win, said he was taking some pills to calm the irritation. Manager Aaron Boone considered it minor and said he wasn’t even concerned about it.
Catcher Gary Sánchez, who returned Friday after missing 10 games with left groin tightness, didn’t play. New York also held off again slugger Edwin Encarnación’s return from a left oblique injury. The 36-year-old missed his 13th straight game.
The Rangers play their 2,081st and final regular-season game at the ballpark they have called home since 1994. They are moving across the street next season to a new $1 billion-plus stadium with a retractable roof. Masahiro Tanaka (11-8) is expected to pitch for the AL East champion Yankees, but may not start. Lance Lynn (15-11) goes for the Rangers.