Masahiro Tanaka was spot on, and the Yankees hit 4 HR to beat the Angels 9-1 to clinch the AL East title Thursday night.
It’s their 100th win of the season, and manager Aaron Boone is the first manager ever to win 100 in each of his first two managerial seasons.
D.J. LeMahieu got things going with a 3-run HR (25) in the second inning.
Tanaka only mistake was in giving up a gopher ball in the top of the fourth that cut the lead to 3-1.
Brett Gardner hit a solo HR in the bottom of the fourth (26) to make it 4-1 Yankees.
In the bottom of the sixth, Didi Gregorius singled and stole second. Gio Urshela walked. A groundout moved both runners up and Gardner then doubled in two runs to make it 6-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, with two out, Cameron Maybin homered (9) to make it 7-1, and after Gardner walked, Clint Frazier hit a 2-run HR (12) to make it 9-1, which turned out to be the final score.
The Yanks are 1/2 game behind Houston for best record in baseball (Astros have tiebreaker) and lead the NL best Dodgers by 1 1/2 games.
LeMahieu 3-run HR (25) .329
Gregorius 2 hits
Maybin solo HR (9)
Gardner 2 hits, solo HR (26), 3 RBI
Frazier 2-run HR (12)
Tanaka (W 11-8, 4.47) 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Gearrin 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.10
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.28
Tanaka was moved to tonight with Happ going tomorrow. Just a note: This moves sets up Tanaka to start Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on regular rest.
Domingo German was put on administrative leave due to a domestic violence incident which is being investigated by the Commissioner’s office. Michael King was added to take his place on the roster.
Update: In the race for the new team HR record, the Twins 293, Yanks 292. The Twins have played in one less game than the Yanks, and the AL Central teams they play to end the season with are weak (KC 98 losses as of now and Detroit with 107), so the Yanks are the underdogs here. It appears that the Twins will beat out the Yanks, esp. since the Yanks do have two games left with 90-win Tampa Bay.