It’s a three-peat for the Red Sox.
For the third straight year, Boston claimed the American League East division title, and the team was able to celebrate on enemy territory after beating the New York Yankees 11-6 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
“It’s fitting that we clinched here,” Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It’s not only me … everything that has to do with the organization, they helped us out to accomplish this.”
“He’s one of the best players in baseball,” Cora said. “He can change games playing defense, running the bases and hitting. It was good to see him do what he did today.”
It certainly wasn’t an easy win. Eduardo Rodriguez threw 100 pitches over 3 2/3 innings of work, giving up five earned runs and walking a season-high seven batters. He left the game in the fourth with the bases loaded. Giancarlo Stanton welcomed the Red Sox’s bullpen to the game by uncorking a grand slam off Heath Hembree to give New York its first lead of the game.
But Boston’s offense scored three runs in the seventh, followed by three in the eighth thanks to Betts. But while the champagne tastes sweet Thursday, Cora knows this is just the first step.
“The goal is a lot bigger. We know that. I know that,” the skipper said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “This is part of it. We won the division … now it’s secure home field, and obviously, we have a shot to win 11 in October.”
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees game:
— Boston’s three straight division titles is a franchise record.
— Steven Wright was credited with the win after the knuckleballer tossed three scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
— Betts joined some pretty elite company Thursday night after he hit his 30th home run of the season.
— Boston is just one win away from tying the 1912 record of most wins in a Red Sox season with 105.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images