Red Sox beat Yankees to clinch third consecutive AL East title, still chasing franchise record for wins

Given that they've had the best record in baseball for much of the season, the Red Sox are eyeing greater prizes this season than the American League East title. Still, the process of winning it all has several steps, and making the playoffs and winning the division are the first ones. The Red Sox can now check both off the list. 

That it happened in Yankee Stadium is just gravy. The Red Sox clinched with a wild 11-6 win Thursday night. It was a back-and-forth battle, with the Red Sox's 4-2 lead turning into a 6-4 Yankees lead on a Giancarlo Stanton grand slam in the bottom of the fourth. The Red Sox would get one in the fifth, and then a three-run rally in the top of the seventh put them up for good. A Mookie Betts three-run shot in the eighth off Aroldis Chapman sealed the deal. 

And then, the celebration on enemy turf was on. 

The Red Sox can still make regular season history here with less than two weeks to go. The franchise record for wins in a season is 105. This was the Red Sox's 104th win. 

This is the 10th AL East title for Boston in the divisional era. It's also their third straight. Before this stretch they hadn't finished first in back-to-back seasons since 1915-16 and they had never finished first three consecutive years. 

The Red Sox this season got big performances from stars. Chris Sale was exceptional. David Price might be the AL Comeback Player of the Year. Craig Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the league. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are both MVP candidates. Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts are too good to be considered supporting cast members. 

In all, the Red Sox have had a bone-crushing offense (first in the AL in runs, average, on-base percentage, slugging and more), a good rotation headlined by a possible Cy Young winner and a good back-end of the bullpen. It's a formula that works well in October, and the Red Sox are hoping that rings true here. 

The Red Sox will host the winner of the AL Wild Card Game (incredibly likely the Yankees or A's) in the ALDS with Game 1 on Friday, Oct. 5 on TBS. Here's the generic playoff schedule while we await the entry of teams

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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