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Yankees-Red Sox to decide season series

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Rick Porcello and the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
BOSTON

Manager Aaron Boone said he might announce his wild-card game starter Sunday, when the New York Yankees close out the regular season with a game against the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees, who reached the 100-win mark for the first time since 2009 with an 8-5 victory Saturday, host the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, with the winner going to Fenway Park to open the American League Division Series on Friday.

While J.A. Happ would be on regular rest to pitch the game Wednesday, the Yankees could be hesitating to use the left-hander against Oakland and then have him for only one game against the Red Sox. Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are the other candidates.

Severino, a 19-game winner who has struggled in the second half of the season, was pulled from Sunday's scheduled start but could work in relief in what would be his throw day. The Yankees have not announced their starter.

"We'll get into that pretty heavily tonight," Boone said before Saturday's game. "After (the game), we'll get together and talk about that. We're starting to, you know, the last couple days have started to have those conversations casually. After last night's game, with a little more intent behind it. But we'll meet tonight and get closer to that decision."

Rick Porcello, a 17-game winner likely to start Game 3 of the ALDS, will start for the Red Sox on Sunday. The AL East champions have allowed 29 runs during their three-game losing streak.

"I can't wait until Monday," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who has to run another meaningless game Sunday before it all starts for real Friday.

The Yankees broke the record for home runs in a season with two more Saturday (nine in the last three games, all wins) with 266 as Gleyber Torres provided the record-breaker and Giancarlo Stanton also hit one. That gave Stanton 100 RBIs, and Miguel Andujar smacked two more doubles, giving him 46 and breaking his tie with Joe DiMaggio for the franchise rookie record set in 1936.

Torres homered out of the ninth spot in the lineup, making the Yankees the first team with at least 20 homers from every spot in the batting order.

"Everybody knows (what) was the number, and I hit the ball," Torres said." I feel really happy. My teammates, too. All season we do a really good job, everybody do something. I'm happy for us, and we enjoyed our moment."

Stanton was hit by his own home run ball, a fan hitting him on the foot with a throw all the way from the Green Monster.

"That's the idea when you're an opposing fan, but I don't think that's what he meant to do," Stanton said. "Either way, if I was looking up, I could have grabbed it easily.

"It happens all the time at our stadium, here too. Not too worried about it -- plus that could be a special ball, so we needed it anyways. I think he lost some money possibly on it anyways."

It appeared the black-shirted fan eluded authorities by not hanging around to take a bow.

Lance Lynn, pulled from the start to work in long relief -- his likely postseason roll, pitched three strong innings of relief to even his record at 10-10.

The game appeared to be well in hand late but got sticky enough in the ninth inning for Aroldis Chapman to enter for his first save chance since coming off the disabled list, picking up his 32nd and first since Aug. 14. He struck out two of the three hitters he faced, getting Jackie Bradley Jr. as the potential tying run to end the game.

Porcello, 17-7 with a 4.33 ERA this season, was originally scheduled to pitch the series opener Friday. He is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA this year against the Yankees -- 10-8, 3.16 in his career. He's had one bad start against New York this season, but his other two have been gems, allowing a combined one run and three hits in 16 innings, with strikeouts.

The Red Sox, who will open the ALDS at home Friday, have already broken the club record for wins in a season and, after an off day Thursday, come into the finale at 107-54 -- with the two rivals 9-9 in their season series.

The Yankees reached 100 wins for the 20th time in their history. They won the championship in 12 of those seasons but had to worry about playing in only the World Series in some of them.

New York learned before the game that CC Sabathia was suspended for five games for hitting Tampa Bay's Jesus Sucre on Thursday. The suspension will be served next season, when Sabathia, who has already said he plans to pitch another year, could be with another team.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Yankees-Red Sox to decide season series
Yankees-Red Sox to decide season series
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