NEW YORK: The New York Yankees clinched their first American League East division title since 2012 on Thursday with their 100th win of the Major League Baseball season.
The Yankees cruised past the Los Angeles Angels 9-1 at Yankee Stadium — one day after wasting a chance in a loss to the Angels.
DJ LeMahieu belted a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Yankees a lead they wouldn´t relinquish.
Veteran Brett Gardner also drove in three runs, including a fourth-inning solo shot that was his 26th of the season.
That was plenty of support for Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who rebounded from a couple of shaky outings with a solid performance,
He surrendered four hits in seven innings, with Kole Calhoun´s solo homer off the Japanese hurler accounting for the Angels´ only run.
Gardner´s homer was the Yankees´ 290th of the season, passing this season´s Minnesota Twins for the most by a team in major league history.
His two-run double in the sixth gave the Yankees a five-run lead and Cameron Maybin and Clint Frazier both homered in the ninth.
With their 100th win of the season, the Yankees pulled even with the Houston Astros for the most wins in the majors.
Second-year manager Aaron Boone earned his first division title as manager and his 200th win, becoming the first manager in history to have at least 100 wins in each of his first two seasons.
Star right fielder Aaron Judge sat out the game a day after getting banged up making a diving catch.
“Just felt like it was a good idea,” Boone said. “Hopefully he´s fine. I believe he is, but it was just something that I wanted to give him a day.”
The Yankees have struggled with injuries all season, with 30 players landing on the injured list.
They could find themselves without another key player in the post-season after Major League Baseball placed pitcher Domingo German on administrative leave under its domestic violence policy.
No immediate details of what led to the move were immediately given, but the 27-year-old Dominican right-hander will be sidelined while an investigation is ongoing.