The New York Yankees clinched their eighth AL East title of the decade today with a 4-2 win over Boston at Yankee Stadium. Veteran outfielder Hideki Matsui singled in his 89th and 90th RBI of the season with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to give the Yankees their first and last lead of the afternoon.
Captain Derek Jeter produced his 64th multi-hit game of the season and started a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the third inning. Jeter has committed just eight errors at shortstop this year, one fewer than his career low of nine committed in 1998.
The win marked the 100th of the season for New York, the first time they have reached the triple-digit mark since 2004, when they blew a 3-0 series lead to the Red Sox in the ALCS.
The victory also gave the Yankees a choice: As the best team in the league that won the All-Star Game, they now have a choice of having two days off in the ALDS or three days off. The extra day of rest would come in between Games One and Two of the series. The Yankees have until 24 hours after discovering who their opponent is to make that decision.
"I think you want to physically see how you are at the end of the year," manager Joe Girardi said. "The thing is, with the longer series...you can use your bullpen pretty much every day—every guy, every day. Our bullpen has been a strength of ours, and that's something we're definitely going to consider."
As the best team in the league, the Yankees will play the playoff team with the worst record in the American League in the ALDS provided that team is not in their division.
If the season were to end today, Detroit would be headed to the Bronx for the start of a best-of-five series. The Tigers' magic number to clinch the division over Minnesota is six. The Twins travel to Detroit tonight to begin a four-game set with the Tigers tomorrow.
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