Aaron Judge hit his first home run since returning from a fractured right wrist, and it was the homer that tied the all-time single-season team record as the New York Yankees clinched home-field advantage in the American League wild-card game with an 11-6 victory over the host Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
The Yankees reached 264 homers, tying the single-season record set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.
Judge tied the mark with a long drive that landed in the center field seats on the first pitch of the eighth inning off Bobby Poyner. It was his 27th homer and first since July 21.
The Yankees (99-61) hit four homers to tie the record and also secured home field in the wild-card game for the second straight season. They will host Oakland on Wednesday, and the winner advances to face the Red Sox (107-53) in the Division Series next Friday in Boston.
Gary Sanchez hit a solo homer in the third, Aaron Hicks capped a six-run fourth with a three-run shot off William Cuevas and Luke Voit hit a solo drive in the seventh off Drew Pomeranz.
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the third on Sanchez’s 446-foot drive over the Green Monster onto Lansdowne Street and Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI single off Brian Johnson (4-5).
Gleyber Torres made it 4-0 with a fourth-inning RBI double that scored Miguel Andujar, whose 44th double tied Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio for the most in a season by a Yankees rookie. Andujar also is one double shy of the rookie record set by Fred Lynn.
Andrew McCutchen then hit an RBI single to make it 5-0 before Hicks, Voit and Judge homered.
The Yankees scored their 10th run on shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ fielding error on a grounder by Sanchez.
New York left-hander J.A. Happ (17-6) allowed four runs on four hits in six innings and finished the season by going 7-0 for the Yankees since being acquired from Toronto on July 26.
Steve Pearce drove in five runs by hitting a grand slam with two outs in the sixth and an RBI single in the eighth off Dellin Betances. Bogaerts drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the ninth off Zach Britton.
Johnson allowed two runs and three hits in three innings. Cuevas surrendered six runs on six hits while getting one out in the fourth.
—Field Level Media