BOSTON – (Staff Report) – The Boston Red Sox became one of only 11 teams since the Year 1900 to win 108+ games in a single season when they concluded their 2018 regular season by walloping the New York Yankees, 10-2, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. The Red Sox finished (108-54) and outlasted the 100-win New York team that will be required to compete in the American League Wild Card game.
New York will return to the Bronx to prepare for their lone wild card game to be played Wednesday, October 3 vs the Oakland A’s. The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians also advanced to postseason play and will face each other in the ALDS.
Boston scored early and often over the first four innings of the game and built their 10-2 lead as the game entered the 5th inning.
In the 1st, consecutive singles by right-fielder Mookie Betts, left-fielder Brock Holt and DH J.D. Martinez, combined with a NYY error by right-fielder Aaron Judge to set the Red Sox up for first baseman Mitch Moreland’s RBI double which was followed by an infield hit legged out by Eduardo Nunez. As Nunez crossed first base, NY starting pitcher Luis Cessa tried to cover and both went tumbling.
Although Nunez rolled his ankle, he remained in the game. Cessa was removed by Yankees manager Aaron Boone for reliever David Robertson. Cessa faced only six Red Sox batter but allowed five hits, four runs (three earned) in his one-third inning. It set the tone for the rest of the afternoon and the Red Sox piled on the scoreboard.
Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning and Martinez added a three-run blast in the 4th. The homer marked Martinez’ 43rd HR and his 130th RBI. He set the mark for homers by a first-year Red Sox player.
NY first baseman Luke Voit hit his 14th home run of the season, a 2-run blast off Boston’s Bobby Poyner. Voit has hit all 14 HRs since August 24th.
Boston manager Alex Cora substituted frequently, but before he did, Betts finished with the American League batting title and became the first player in MLB history to win the title while also hitting over 30+ HRs and stealing 30+ bases.
Cora finished the season with 108 victories and trails only (1961 NYY) Ralph Houk who had 109 wins in his first season with the Yanks. As did the Red Sox, Cora finished at (108-54).
Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5) was credited with the win in relief for Boston while Cessa (1-4) took the loss for New York. Boston closer Craig Kimbrel struck-out the side to finish off the Yanks.
GAME NOTES: The Red Sox have secured MLB’s best record for 2018 and will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series. … This is the fifth time Boston has sole possession of MLB’s best record with the others coming in 1903, 1912, 1915 and 1946. … Boston shared the best record in 2007 and 2013. … Only the 1946 season marked Boston finishing with the best record but NOT winning the World Series. … Boston’s postseason will begin Friday, October 5 with Game 1 of the ALDS … Boston will take on the winner of the AL Wild Card playoff game between Oakland and the NY Yankees. … This is the first season ever that both the NY Yankees and Boston Red Sox each finished with 100 victories or more. … Boston finished the season by drawing 2,895,575 fans with 45 sellouts. … Today, 36,201 fans attended the final regular season game.