NEW YORK -- On the evening that the Yankees' playoff hopes met their end, CC Sabathia completed his season on a strong note, striking out eight over 7 1/3 efficient frames in a 5-1 victory to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.Starlin
NEW YORK -- On the evening that the Yankees' playoff hopes met their end, CC Sabathia completed his season on a strong note, striking out eight over 7 1/3 efficient frames in a 5-1 victory to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks had run-scoring doubles for the Yankees (83-76), who were mathematically eliminated from the race for the second American League Wild Card by the Orioles' 4-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto.
"Obviously our goal every year is to come in and win the division, win the World Series. That's the reason why you play with the Yankees," Sabathia said. "The future looks bright, though. We've got a lot of good young players in here and a mix of veterans. Hopefully we can get that done in the next couple of years."
One day after celebrating their first American League East title since 2013, the Red Sox were limited to a run on four hits during Sabathia's 105-pitch effort. Xander Bogaerts touched the left-hander for a fourth-inning solo home run, his 21st.
Boston starter Henry Owens permitted two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. New York added two runs in the sixth inning on a Tyler Austin bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch by Boston reliever Robby Scott that allowed Chase Headley to score.
The Red Sox's bid for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs also took a hit, as they fell two games back of the Rangers for the AL's top seed. In order for Boston to overtake Texas, the Sox would need to sweep the Blue Jays this weekend and the Rangers get swept by the Rays.
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"I think anyone who looks at home-field advantage, it's pivotal, it's something that we're continuing to achieve or strive for," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "But we needed to get some guys off their feet given what we've come through particularly the number of road games that we've played over the past six weeks. We go back home and we're looking forward to finishing out against Toronto."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
CC you next year: Sabathia walked off the field to a standing ovation after getting Travis Shaw to ground out for the first out of the eighth inning, and because he will not end the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, his $25 million option for 2017 is set to automatically vest. Sabathia gave the Yankees another reason to feel good about that investment, pitching brilliantly against a reduced Red Sox lineup. Sabathia recorded quality starts in six of his last eight outings this season, pitching to a 2.37 ERA over that span.
"That's big, going into the offseason," catcher Brian McCann said. "I thought this season for him -- when you're changing identities and you're changing who you've always been as a pitcher -- to have the success he's had was great." More >
Papi walks off to cheers:David Ortiz had an abbreviated night in his final game at Yankee Stadium, going 0-for-1 in two plate appearances and getting a big ovation from the crowd when Brock Holt pinch-ran for him in the fourth. Prior to the game, the Yankees recognized Ortiz in a ceremony, presenting him with two gifts. The first was a custom-created leather-bound book consisting of handwritten letters to Ortiz from current and former Yankees greats. Mariano Rivera presented Ortiz with his second gift, a commissioned oil painting in which Ortiz was illustrated doffing his helmet at Yankee Stadium.
"Great ceremony," said Ortiz. "I want to personally thank the Yankees for taking their time and honoring my career. It was a very professional and very nice ceremony." More >
Bogaerts blasts No. 21: Xander Bogaerts continues to show signs that he's ready to get hot again entering the AL Division Series. After a three-hit night on Wednesday, Bogaerts tied Thursday's game with a solo shot to left. The homer had an exit velocity of 102-mph and traveled a Statcast-projected 399 feet.
"Well, he's been swinging the bat good in this series," said Farrell. "He looks like he's kind of coming back into that consistent approach at the plate that he's shown."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ortiz finished his career against the Yankees with a .303 average with 150 runs scored, 75 doubles, 53 homers and 181 RBIs in 894 at-bats.
Yankees pitchers recorded 10 strikeouts on Thursday, giving them 1,370 for the year. That ties a single-season franchise record also set in 2014 and '15.
Red Sox:Rick Porcello has one more chance to make his case for the AL's Cy Young Award when he goes for win No. 23 in Friday night's opener against the Blue Jays in the final homestand of the regular season. The righty has turned in quality starts in his last 12 outings dating back to July 29. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.
Yankees: The Yankees begin the final series of the regular season on Friday, welcoming the Orioles to town. Right-hander Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees in the 7:05 p.m. contest. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-8, 5.63 ERA) will start for Baltimore.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.