BOSTON (AP) — The AL wild-card game will be in the Bronx Drew Hutchison Jersey , where the New York Yankees bats have always felt at home.The Yankees cleared the Fenway fences four times on Friday night to tie the major league single-season home run record, clinching home-field advantage for the upcoming one-game playoff against Oakland with a 11-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox.The win in the opener of the three-game series settled the AL’s last remaining postseason question with two games to go. The Yankees will host the Athletics on Wednesday for the right to play Boston in the divisional round.“That’s an exhale right there, for the moment,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “Now we can start working on getting ready as best as we can for that Wednesday game. It’s nice to finish that off.”The Red Sox, who clinched the best record in baseball with a franchise-record 107 wins, were hoping to make things difficult for their archrivals — and the A’s, too — by forcing the winner of the wild-card game to fly cross-country next week. The ALDS begins in Boston on Friday.Instead, the Yankees will sleep in their own beds, and play in the park where they were 53-28 while hitting 144 home runs.“It’s not the end-all, be-all by any means,” Boone said. “But when push comes to shove you want to be at home.”Reigning Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge hit his first homer since coming off the disabled list Sept. 14, and Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit also homered to give the Yankees 264 home runs for the season. That matches the mark set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.AUDITIONSJ.A. Happ (17-6) pitched three perfect innings and allowed just one hit through five. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he loaded the bases in the sixth for Steve Pearce’s grand slam but got Rafael Devers on a groundout to end the inning.In all, Happ allowed four runs on four hits and two walks, striking out seven in six innings. He would be on regular rest for the wild-card game.“I’d love to get the nod,” he said. “But I think we’re going to feel good with whoever is out there.”LONG BALLSSanchez homered to lead off the third, just his second homer and fourth hit of any kind in two weeks. Hicks hit a three-run shot in New York’s six-run fourth. Voit hit a solo shot in the seventh and Judge hit his 27th of the year in the eighth to make it 11-4.Boone said he wouldn’t have expected to set home run records in a season without Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hitting 50 apiece. Judge battled injuries after hitting 52 as a rookie; Stanton dropped from 59 to 37.Twelve players hit 10 or more homers and six topped 20.“We’re getting a lot of production from a lot of guys,” Boone said.LATE THREATBoston scored once and loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth against Dellin Betances, but Eduardo Nunez lined out to second to end it. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth before Zach Britton walked Xander Bogaerts to score a run and cut the deficit to 11-6.But Pearce grounded out on a 3-2 pitch to third base to end it, giving the Yankees their 99th win.“I loved the way we fought,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Got to Betances; got to Britton. We had the big inning against Happ.”PASSING THE MESSAGEPearce is 6 for 32 with six homers against Happ in his career. Asked why he’s struggled so much to keep Pearce in the park Larry Bowa Jersey , Happ said with a smile, “I don’t know, why don’t you go over there and ask him why it’s so easy for him. I’d like to know what he says.”(When that was relayed to Pearce, he also smiled and said, “It’s not easy. He’s a good pitcher.”)FOR THE RECORDRed Sox left-hander Brian Johnson (4-5) allowed two runs in three innings and left with a 2-0 deficit. William Cuevas came out to start the fourth and gave up six runs on six hits and a walk while getting just one out.DOUBLING UPMiguel Andujar’s fourth-inning double was his 44th of the season, tying Joe DiMaggio for the record by a Yankees rookie.Second base umpire Andy Fletcher appeared to hurt his calf while calling Andujar safe on the play. The game was completed using three umpires. According to Major League Baseball, Fletcher sustained a muscular injury and will need further evaluation but will likely be replaced for the rest of the series.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: SS Didi Grigorius returned to the lineup for the first time since Saturday because of torn cartilage in his right wrist. Hicks also returned to the lineup; he missed two games with tightness in his left hamstring.UP NEXTRHP Lance Lynn (9-10) is scheduled to face RHP Nathan Eovaldi. Ralph Freso/Getty ImagesThe 2018 World Series begins Tuesday night, as the Boston Red Sox welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to Fenway Park for what promises to be another thrilling Fall Classic.While the baseball world's collective focus is on that best-of-seven series, we're not too far removed from the start of the MLB offseason and the whirlwind of rumors and activity that another round of free agency brings.Ahead is a quick look at some of the latest notable rumors surrounding some key names from the upcoming free-agent class.Philadelphia Phillies the front-runner for Manny Machado?Manny MachadoJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesManny Machado has gone full heel this MLB postseason.From his comments on how hustling is "not my cup of tea" to his kicking of Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's foot at first base that led NL MVP front-runner Christian Yelich to call him a "dirty player," it's been an eventful couple of weeks for the free-agent-to-be.In fact, it was enough forJon Heyman of FanCred to raise the question in a recent headline: "Has Machado cost himself with his actions and words?"Many expect Machado to take home a payday in excess of $300 million, including Heyman, though at least one rival executive seems to think only one team will be willing to approach that figure."The guess here is that he still gets the monster deal in the $300 million range because talent talks," wrote Heyman, "though one rival exec says his guess is that maybe 'no one but Philly' may be willing to go there now."The Phillies have long been viewed as a potential landing spot for one or both of Machado and Bryce Harper. As they look to keep pace with the Atlanta Braves and take the next step in their rebuilding process, it makes sense that they'd still be willing to break the bank to add a superstar-caliber player.To his credit, Machado has still been plenty productive this October amid the controversy, posting an .813 OPS with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBI in 11 games.Prediction:Machado finds multiple teams willing to pay $300-plus million and eventually signs with the Los Angeles Angels.Patrick Corbin market taking shape?Patrick CorbinDenis Poroy/Getty ImagesPatrick Corbin picked the perfect time for a career year.In a thin market for impact starting pitching, the left-hander has positioned himself for a major payday after going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 246 strikeouts鈥攇ood forthird in the National League鈥攊n 200 innings.The 29-year-old has already been a popular speculative target of the New York Yankees, but Nick Cafardo of theBoston Globe recentlyoffered up a more comprehensive list of potential suitors:"Considered the most sought-after pitcher on the market this winter. Corbin will have his pick http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-jim-bunning-jersey , but it likely won鈥檛 be in Arizona, which is looking to strip payroll and start rebuilding. Corbin is expected to draw a lot of interest from the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, and Braves. The deal likely could be at least five years in the $20 million-$25 million range."We've already mentioned the Yankees, and the Braves also look like an excellent fit as they look for another experienced arm to slot alongside Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman. The Dodgers also make sense, regardless of what happens with Clayton Kershaw and his opt-out clause.On the other hand, the Giants are a bit of a head-scratcher. The last thing that team needs is another pricey long-term contract on the books, and there's a good chance San Francisco will be rebuilding rather than making a splash in free agency.As the top arm available, it might take Corbin making a free-agency decision to kick the rest of the starting pitching market into gear this winter. As such, expect to hear his name early and often on the rumor mill. Nathan Eovaldi to exceed four years and $43 million?Nathan EovaldiElsa/Getty ImagesA strong argument can be made that no player has done more to increase his free-agent stock this season than Nathan Eovaldi.The 28-year-old missed the entire 2017 campaign recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he has returned strong this season with the Tampa Bay Rays to emerge as one of the most coveted arms at the trade deadline.The Boston Red Sox acquired him July 25, and he went on to post a 3.33 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 54 innings in 11 starts and one relief appearance during the regular season. He's been even better this October:ALDS Game 3:W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 KALCS Game 3:W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER Jim Thome Jersey , 2 BB, 4 KALCS Game 5:HLD, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 KHe'll have at least one World Series start to further boost his stock, but there's already a strong belief in the industry that he's going to cash in this winter, asCafardowrote:"Most executives think a comparable isAlex Cobb, who also came back from Tommy John and landed a four-year, $57 million deal with Baltimore last offseason. Eovaldi's pedigree exceeds Cobb's at this point, so his contract should be more lucrative."The fact that he's still just 28 is also a chip in his favor, considering a starting pitcher market that includes Corbin (29), Dallas Keuchel (30), Wade Miley (31), Gio Gonzalez (33), Charlie Morton (34) and J.A. Happ (36).The bigger question now might be how aggressively the Red Sox push to retain him.All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.
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