Red Sox: Yankees again batter Boston bullpen as regular season nears end

J.D. Martinez

NY and the Boston Red Sox are both locked into their postseason roles, both with home field advantage.

The 99th victory of the season clinched home field for the Yankees in the wild-card playoff game Wednesday against Oakland.

It's sure to be a kinetic, breakneck affair under the lights at Yankee Stadium next week. Khrush Davis and Matt Chapman matching dingers with the team that just tied the all-time single-season record for long balls?

Meanwhile, Kelly struggled his 12 games in September, going 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA.

And the Yankee faithful can now breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have to fly across the country for this epic one-and-done affair. "And for me the way I look at it, if there's a playoff atmosphere on the line where somebody can get knocked out, that's a heck of an environment to pitch in".

Rick Porcello, the 2016 AL Cy Young victor, is expected to start Game 3 of the AL Division Series, and Nathan Eovaldi is the likely starter for Game 4 against the Yankees, who beat Oakland 7-2 in the wild-card game to advance.

Cora would not say Wednesday who the final picks for the bullpen would be.

NY homered four times Friday night in an 11-6 win over the Red Sox, which evened the Yankees with the 1997 Mariners ' total set by a lineup that included Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez.

Said manager Aaron Boone: "In a lot of ways we're built for our ballpark".

For the Yankees, Andrew McCutchen is 3-for-6 and Gregorius 5-for-14 (.357) with a homer against Eovaldi, while Gleyber Torres is 1-for-8 (.125), Hicks 3-for-13 (.213) and Giancarlo Stanton 2-for-9 (.222).

When Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees dugout on Friday night after hitting the team's 264th home run of the season, equipment manager Rob Cucuzza stood up in the visitor's dugout at Fenway Park and began signaling for someone to get the attention of a member of the home team who could retrieve that ball for them. Sanchez, hitting only.182 when he stepped to the plate to lead off, smashed Johnson's 89-mph fastball on a 2-0 pitch over the Green Monster seats to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

The most important thing that happened on Friday was not the record-tying home runs. Red Sox: 4-6, .273 batting average, 5.38 ERA, outscored opponents by three runs. Betts finished with a major league-best.346 average, and Martinez's three-run homer gave him an AL-best 130 RBIs. Miguel Andujar hit two doubles and increased his total to 46, the most by a Yankees rookie since Joe DiMaggio hit 44 in 1936. "I've never seen it happen before", Stanton said.

As such, the Red Sox will be depending on Sale to log a quality start Friday night, regardless of his velocity. Boone said the Yankees were being cautious with Judge, who returned from the disabled list September 14 with a wrist fracture.

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