Red Sox Clinch AL East With 6-3 Win Over Astros

The Indians, who also set a record for wins by an AL Central team, maintained their one-game lead over Houston for the best record in the American League. Their business models are fragile, where slight miscalculations or unfortunate circumstances can jeopardize an entire season.

NEW YORK - Masahiro Tanaka struck out a career-high 15 hitters in seven dominant innings as New York blanked Toronto.

The win marked the first time in franchise history that the Red Sox have won back-to-back AL East titles.

The Red Sox and American League West Division champion Astros will meet in game one of the first round of the playoffs on Thursday in Texas. The A's were on their way to making their third straight postseason appearance, and decided to risk it all at the trade deadline and "win now"; they traded All-Star Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. Tanaka faced two above the minimum and threw 68 of 103 pitches for strikes. This was due to a combination of poor play by them, and great play by the New York Yankees.

While the Red Sox have now won the division three times in the past five seasons, they had never previously won consecutive division titles since the advent of the AL East in 1969. (7-3, 4.01 ERA) has battled injuries in the second half, limiting him to just five starts since the break. His three best relievers did the job. Boston has won the AL East in three of Farrell's five seasons. Let's hope, for the sake of Red Sox fan sanity, that no more injuries befall the team.

Carson Smith was expected to return from Tommy John surgery in June, but was delayed until September. "It's not worth it for one game until the soreness is gone", Hinch said. Taylor Davis then singled to third off Michael Lorenzen (8-4). Game 1 will take place in Houston later this week.

On the pitching side, Chris Sale had his most dominant season to date, racking up the Red Sox first 300-strikeout season since 1999.

Rafael Devers followed up with a double to center to score Mitch Moreland, increasing Boston's lead to 2-0.

Meanwhile, it was David Price acting as the hero out of the bullpen.

Judge extended his rookie record by opening the fourth with his league-leading 52nd homer.

Mookie Betts added an exclamation point in the bottom of the 7th with a solo home run over the Green Monster. Suzuki broke it in the Mariners' 160th game of the year. Cubs reliever Brian Duensing (1-1) earned the win after working a scoreless eighth. He's getting a second look in a row at the Yankees, who've swapped out Jaime Garcia for Sabathia as they're ratcheting their pursuit of the division just a bit.

McCann homered off Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth to make it 6-3. Harper returned this week after missing more than six weeks because of a hyperextended left knee. In between Boston posted back-to-back last place finishes. "You've got to get them early, and the games that we've had success against them we've done that".

Price stayed in, fanning George Springer looking on three pitches to end the threat.

First was Drew Pomeranz, who went six strong innings, allowing just one run.

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