EditorsNote: new headline
J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Boston Red Sox concluded the best regular season in team history with a 10-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Martinez gave the Red Sox a 10-2 lead when he drove an 0-1 pitch from Justus Sheffield over the center field fence and into the Boston bullpen. Reliever Robby Scott was warming up and caught the ball in his cap.
It was Martinez’s 43rd homer and upped his RBI total to 130. He joined Hall of Famer Ted Williams (1949) and Mo Vaughn (1996) as the only Boston players to hit at least .325 with at least 40 homers and 125 RBIs and broke the team record set by Dick Stuart in 1963 for the most homers by a player in his first season with Boston.
Xander Bogaerts added a two-run homer as the Red Sox raced out to a 7-0 lead through the second inning. Brock Holt and Mitch Moreland added RBI doubles for the Red Sox (108-54), who open the playoffs Friday at home against the Yankees or the Oakland A’s.
Martinez also scored in the first on a fielding error at first by Luis Cessa (1-4) in a three-run first. Mookie Betts scored after right fielder Aaron Judge misplayed Holt’s single for an error.
Betts went 1-for-2 and finished as the AL batting champion with a .346 average. He became the first Red Sox to win a batting title since Bill Mueller in 2003.
Luke Voit hit a two-run homer for the Yankees (100-62), who open the playoffs by hosting Oakland in Wednesday’s wild-card game. Miguel Andujar added another double to give him 47 and to tie the American League rookie record set by Fred Lynn in 1975.
Both teams deployed their pitching like an exhibition game in Florida.
Rick Porcello started for Boston and tossed two scoreless innings. Seven relievers followed and Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5) was awarded the win.
Luis Severino was originally slated to start but was scratched to keep his available for a possible start on Wednesday. Cessa allowed four runs (two earned) while getting one out and exited after colliding with Eduardo Nunez on a play at first.
—Field Level Media