New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton strikes out for the fifth time in a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in New York. But despite a Steve Pearce grand slam and some shaky bullpen moments down the stretch, the Bronx Bombers prevailed and notched an 11-6 victory.
The Yankees host Oakland on Wednesday night in a wildcard matchup and could well end up back here Friday for Game 1 of the A.L. Division Series.
It's sure to be a kinetic, breakneck affair under the lights at Yankee Stadium next week.
The Yankees and A's split six games this season, both going 2-1 in their own ballpark.
And the Yankee faithful can now breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have to fly across the country for this epic one-and-done affair.
The Red Sox, who clinched the best record in baseball with a franchise-record 107 wins, were hoping to make things hard for their archrivals - and the A's, too - by forcing the victor of the wild-card game to fly cross-country next week.
"Because if we win eight out of 10", Cora said, "people will say it doesn't count".
NY homered four times Friday night in an 11-6 win over the Red Sox, which evened the Yankees with the 1997 Mariners ' total set by a lineup that included Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez.
"If you would've told us we're going to break that record at the beginning of the year, you would've probably thought Giancarlo's hitting 50 or 60, Judgey's hitting 50 or 60, and because of injuries and different things, that hasn't been the case", manager Aaron Boone said.
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Kittredge received a three-game suspension, also for 2019, and an undisclosed fine for throwing a pitch near the head of Yankees catcher Austin Romine in the top of the inning.
Stanton, who didn't seem to be hurt in the slightest by the ball, was impressed himself, looking up at the fans on the Green Monster and giving them a smile and a salute as he trotted his way to home base to put the Yankees up 8-2 in the second game of the teams' final series of the regular season. Closer Aroldis Chapman just returned from the disabled list after missing almost a month with left knee tendinitis, and while Aaron Judge has been back from the DL for two weeks, he still hasn't hit a home run since sustaining a right wrist fracture in July that was slow to heal.
Mookie Betts clinched Major League and A.L. batting crowns, J.D. Martinez cracked his 43rd home run of his debut Boston season and pitchers who figure to see the mound in the A.L. Division Series performed splendidly.
Eduardo Rodriguez (12-5) pitched the third and fourth for Boston and took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits.
Voit's solo home run in the seventh landed in the home bullpen. Stanton gave a quick salute to the man.
But after dominating during the season, is it enough for Boston to go all the way? The Red Sox have no clear setup option ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel, with journeyman Ryan Brasier and the inconsistent Matt Barnes most often getting the call.