Severino allowed seven hits, walked two, and of the nine outs he recorded three were balls belted to the warning track in the deepest reaches of the park.
“It was a mess,” Severino said of his performance. He added: “Maybe I was trying to do too much.”
In the opposite dugout, Cora shook up his lineup to great effect. He benched second baseman Ian Kinsler, third baseman Eduardo Nunez and catcher Sandy Leon for Holt, Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez, hoping to jolt the offense.
It could not have worked better. Devers ripped a single to right to lead off the second, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and put the Red Sox ahead 1-0 when Vazquez singled off the glove of Severino. Holt began and ended the fourth inning outburst, lining a single to right to start the inning and hitting a two-run triple to right to cap it. Vazquez also singled and scored in the inning.
Holt, Devers and Vazquez combined for eight hits, seven runs and eight R.B.I.
Now, it will be Boone’s turn to adjust.
Neil Walker, who can be counted on for quality at-bats, could find his way into the lineup at third base for Miguel Andujar, which would also give Sabathia — who yields more ground balls than any Yankees pitcher — a more reliable defender.
Certain to be back in the lineup will be center fielder Aaron Hicks, who left the series opener with a tight right hamstring, and has not played since, though Boone pronounced him much improved from Saturday. “It was a much harder decision today,” said Boone, who ultimately did not want to risk losing Hicks — who has had a history of muscle pulls — for a lengthy period.
But if the Yankees play anything like they did on Monday night, Hicks — and the rest of the Yankees — will have all the winter to get better.