BOSTON -- The stereo remained in the off position as the Yankees dressed and stuffed their suitcases on Sunday evening, but even without their thumping postgame beats, the club's 100-win season represented something worth celebrating. There is also a sense of optimism that a return trip to Fenway Park could
BOSTON -- The stereo remained in the off position as the Yankees dressed and stuffed their suitcases on Sunday evening, but even without their thumping postgame beats, the club's 100-win season represented something worth celebrating. There is also a sense of optimism that a return trip to Fenway Park could be right around the corner.
The Yankees concluded the regular season with a 10-2 loss to the Red Sox, with rookie manager Aaron Boone having piloted the franchise to the third-best record in the Majors. Now they will turn their full attention to the American League Wild Card Game matchup with the Athletics, scheduled for Wednesday in New York at 8 p.m. ET.
• AL Wild Card Game: Wed., 8 p.m. ET on TBS
"I'm really excited to go chase it down," Boone said. "It's an opportunity. None of us should take it lightly, the opportunity to get into the postseason and the chance you have in front of you. Hopefully, we put our best foot forward and start Wednesday night."
Capping the Yankees' winningest season since their 103-win campaign in 2009, Miguel Andujar slugged a record-tying double to put the finishing touches on an impressive first big league campaign and Luke Voit hit the club's 267th home run of the year, extending their Major League record.
The drive was Voit's 14th since being acquired from the Cardinals in a late July trade, and as Aaron Judge told the barrel-chested slugger in their boozy playoff-clinching celebration last week, the club might not be in this position without him.
"I haven't hit always for power, but it's something I've grown into," Voit said. "I'm learning a lot about my body and what I can do with my swing. It's finally connected. I wish it had happened earlier, but I used to be a catcher, so I learned a lot from that with how pitchers are going to attack me. I guess I'm a slow learner, but hey, it's going good so far."
New York took the first two games of the weekend series, and with home-field advantage for the AL Wild Card Game decided, the Yankees started Luis Cessa in place of Luis Severino. Boston displayed some of the firepower that helped it compile 108 wins during the regular season while finishing eight games ahead of New York in the AL East.
Cessa was charged with four runs (three earned) in one-third of an inning before exiting with a right ankle injury sustained in a collision at first base with Eduardo Nunez, a frame that included errors by Judge and Cessa. Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer off Jonathan Loaisiga in the second inning and J.D. Martinez cracked a three-run blast in the fourth off Justus Sheffield.
Andujar's fourth-inning double off Bobby Poyner was his 47th, equaling the AL rookie record set by Fred Lynn of the 1975 Red Sox. The Major League record is held by Johnny Fredrick of the 1929 Brooklyn Robins.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard," Andujar said through an interpreter. "Get a good pitch to hit, hit it hard somewhere and if it falls in the gap, I'm going to keep running."
Though the Red Sox claimed the season series between the division rivals, 10-9, the clubs may not have to wait long for a rematch. If the Yankees defeat Oakland on Wednesday, they would return to Boston the next day, preparing to face the Red Sox in the AL Division Series beginning on Friday.
"There's no tomorrow [on] Wednesday," Boone said. "You pour everything you can into Wednesday and trying to win that game. I guess there's always a big picture involved, and we're in this thing to win the whole thing, but first things first. It's pouring everything we have into winning Wednesday."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The score was not close, but the Yankees were watching closely when rookie Stephen Tarpley took the mound in the fifth inning. The 25-year-old is receiving strong consideration to make the postseason roster as a situational left-hander, and Tarpley continued to impress by striking out four over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances (eight innings).
"It would be a dream, honestly," Tarpley said. "It's out of my control. I did my job and I did what I had to do. I'll let the cards play. … If I get ahead of guys, it's the same style of baseball -- get my ground balls, get my strikeouts once I get ahead. If I fall behind, that's where I get hurt. I'm just learning to be a little bit more consistent than I had been, and consistently in the zone."
Voit has homered in each of his last four games against the Red Sox (five homers, eight RBIs). That is tied for the second-longest streak by a Yankee in the last 100 seasons, equaling a feat Lou Gehrig accomplished in 1927 and 1931. Mickey Mantle homered in five straight games vs. Boston in 1954.
"Things are finally clicking," Voit said. "I got right with my hitting coaches, I'm learning a lot about myself and just sticking to it. I always knew I could hit. It's finally getting a chance to play every day and getting everyday at-bats and seeing guys, learning from what they did to me previously and how they're going to attack my weaknesses."
HE SAID IT
"I'm sure I'll have butterflies. I'm excited about it. All of the guys have been talking about how Yankee Stadium is awesome [in the playoffs]. I can't wait. I can't wait for the 'Luuuke!' chants. Hopefully there's a lot of them." -- Voit
The Yankees will hold a workout on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium before hosting the Athletics in the AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. New York and Oakland have not announced their starting pitchers for the contest, which will be televised by TBS.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.