NEW YORK -- Luis Severino took the mound in a major-league game for the first time since the 2019 American League Championship Series on Tuesday.
The two-time All-Star, who has battled myriad injuries since re-signing with the Yankees, entered in the unfamiliar role of reliever, working the final two innings of New York's 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers.
"Proud moment for him and for his teammates and for all of us who have seen him go through a lot," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He's battled different things, and has worked his tail off to get to this moment."
He worked a quick eighth, authoring two strikeouts and a groundout to go along with a double. In the ninth, he allowed a single before ending it with a double play and a flyout.
"I was feeling a lot of different emotions. But I'm happy to be back, happy to finally help the team," Severino told the YES Network. "I knew after the first pitch, that it was going to come back to normal."
He finished with 30 pitches, 19 of which were strikes.
"There's got to be rust, nerves, all of that, going out there," Boone said. "And I thought he executed, and hopefully this is a step forward for him to help us here down the stretch."
Severino was activated before Monday's 4-3 win over the Rangers, with Boone clearly saying he wanted to start him out as a reliever. Where he goes from here, an optimistic Boone wouldn't say.
"I'm not going to cap what that can be. We'll see," he said. "That's a talented person and a great pitcher. I'm not going to limit what he's capable of."
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 31st home run in the win, while Joey Gallo added his 38th and Aaron Judge launched his 36th as New York's offense woke up. It indeed was a feel-good night in The Bronx, despite the fact that the Yankees did not gain any ground in the American League wild-card race.
"He felt great to be a part of it," Boone said of Severino. "There was some emotion in his voice, and you can imagine the hard work he's put in to get to this point. It was a good night for him."
The 27-year-old right-hander had Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020. He made four minor league appearances totaling 10⅔ innings for Tampa, Hudson Valley and Somerset, allowing four runs, five hits and one home run with three walks and 15 strikeouts.
His rehabilitation was slowed when he injured his right groin on June 12 in his second minor league appearance for Hudson Valley at Brooklyn. Severino returned to pitch for Somerset on Aug. 3 and Aug. 8, then was scratched from an Aug. 13 outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because of shoulder tightness.
"The fans always help me, every time I'm out there, and I knew we scored seven runs," Severino said. "So, I was pretty calm out there."
A 19-game winner in 2018, Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract before the 2019 season. He was limited by shoulder soreness to three appearances in 2019, the first on Sept. 17 and the last on Sept. 28, plus a pair of postseason starts on Oct. 7 against Minnesota in the AL Division Series and Oct. 15 against Houston in the ALCS.
"Tonight, we celebrate him," Boone added, "and just his journey back to a major-league mound."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.