NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton raised his arms into the air and floated around the basepaths, celebrating a grand slam that the slumping slugger sorely needed. Yet it would not be enough for the Yankees, who had no choice but to plug their ears and ignore the celebration being prepared
NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton raised his arms into the air and floated around the basepaths, celebrating a grand slam that the slumping slugger sorely needed. Yet it would not be enough for the Yankees, who had no choice but to plug their ears and ignore the celebration being prepared in the visiting clubhouse of their building.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a game-tying seventh-inning homer and Mookie Betts returned from an injury scare to enjoy a four-hit, five-RBI evening, helping the Red Sox clinch the American League East for a third consecutive season with an 11-6 victory over the Yankees on Thursday evening in the Bronx.
"They've had a solid year. We can't deny that," Stanton said. "You never want it to be here that they get it, but we gave it what we've got. They can celebrate now and we've got time to celebrate later."
After two evenings of preventing the Red Sox from celebrating, the Yankees permitted a party to the Red Sox, who have been alone in first place since July 2. Boston was relatively restrained on the field; as it was in 2016, when it also clinched the division at Yankee Stadium, Boston did most of its splashing behind closed doors.
"I felt like we did a lot of things well in this series," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, whose club has a 1 1/2-game lead over the A's for the top AL Wild Card. "We couldn't finish it off when it looked like we had a nice little comeback going there in the middle of this game. This stings a little bit, but we also feel like we've gotten our guys back. We feel like we're in position to hopefully take off and really start playing well."
The late lead change occurred after Stanton mashed a Richard Hembree offering into the right-field seats for his 35th homer, a fourth-inning drive that followed three consecutive walks by Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez, including a 10-pitch battle with Aaron Judge.
Hot-hitting newcomer Luke Voit had slugged his 10th homer in the second inning, simultaneously establishing a new franchise record for home runs in a single-season (247, including Stanton's grand slam) and securing the Yankees' place as the only team in Major League history to boast a dozen players with 10 or more homers.
While Steven Wright calmed New York's bats over three scoreless innings, Boston scored seven unanswered runs after Stanton's grand slam, six off the Yankees' bullpen.
J.D. Martinez lashed a run-scoring hit off Masahiro Tanaka in a sluggish 31-pitch first inning before Betts picked up a two-run single in the second and Brock Holt homered in the fifth.
"As far as pitches go, I don't think it was awful tonight," Tanaka said. "I think the Red Sox offense got some good hits off of it. You kind of have to tip your cap to them. We came back with Giancarlo's big home run there. After that, you really want to shut down that fifth inning. I wasn't able to do that."
Facing Chad Green in the seventh, Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox the lead on a sacrifice fly, with Aaron Hicks' throw to third base skipping past Miguel Andujar to point home another run. Albertin Chapman served up a three-run homer to Betts in the eighth inning, marking the left-hander's first appearance since being activated from the disabled list.
"I felt good. That's the important thing about it," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I'm healthy. It's good. The other stuff, we can work on."
With home runs from Voit and Stanton, the Yankees have hit 247 homers this season, surpassing the franchise record of 245 established in 2012. They own the seventh-highest total in Major League history, trailing the 1997 Mariners (264), 2005 Rangers (260), '10 Blue Jays (257), '96 Orioles (257), '16 Orioles (253) and the '00 Astros (249).
HE SAID IT
"It was just a long, tough, slug-it-out game and they just came up with more big offensive plays than we did tonight. It would've finished the start of a great series, but credit to them. They just kind of weren't going to be denied today." -- Boone
Carsten Sabathia (7-7, 3.80 ERA) has the ball to open the Yankees' final home series of the regular season, beginning a weekend set with the Orioles on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Sabathia hurled just 2 1/3 innings in his last outing, allowing five runs and seven hits in a loss to the Blue Jays. The veteran left-hander has one win in 11 starts dating back to July 9. Right-hander Yefry Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA), whom the Yankees traded in July for international bonus pool money, will start for Baltimore.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.