Home Sports Yankees to host WC game; equal record for HRs

Yankees to host WC game; equal record for HRs

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BOSTON — Yankee Stadium will be hosting at least one more baseball game this year.

Thanks to an 11-6 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night, the New York Yankees solidified home-field advantage in Wednesday’s American League wild-card game against the Oakland Athletics.

Whichever team wins that game will advance to the AL Division Series, where it will face the Red Sox beginning Oct. 5 at Fenway Park.

The Yankees locked themselves into hosting the wild-card game in powerful fashion, blasting four home runs for the second straight game.

The final homer of the night proved the most special, as it gave the Yankees 264 on the year. That pulled them into a tie with the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the most long balls in a season in major league history.

With two games left, they have time to set the record.

Aaron Judge‘s blast in the eighth inning, a towering shot that bounced off the top of the far right corner of the Green Monster before ricocheting back to the field, tied the record. It came after Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit all went deep earlier in the game.

Judge’s homer also was his first since July 21. He spent seven weeks on the disabled list with a wrist injury before returning Sept. 14.

Sanchez got the scoring going in the third, when he crushed a 446-foot shot over the Green Monster. An inning later, Hicks — returning from being sidelined the past three games with hamstring tightness — hit a three-run homer that drifted into the visitors bullpen. When he first made contact, Hicks appeared to be upset, thinking he hit a long fly out.

Voit’s solo home run in the seventh landed in the home bullpen. His 13 homers since being traded to the Yankees on July 29 are tied for the most in baseball in that span with Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich.

On Thursday, the Yankees had also hit four homers in a win over the Tampa Bay Rays, matching the 2005 Rangers for second-most in single-season homers. New York has now had 16 games with four or more home runs, a feat no other team has replicated this season. Entering Friday, the A’s were the next closest with 11 four-homer games.

Last week, the Yankees became the first team to have 12 players hit at least 10 home runs in a season. Giancarlo Stanton has a team-high 37.

This will be the second straight season New York has hosted the AL wild-card game. Last year, the Yankees rallied from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins and advance to the ALDS. They made it to Game 7 in the AL Championship Series, falling to eventual champion Houston.

Host teams are 5-7 all time in wild-card games, with the Yankees having split the only two they have played (2015, ’17).

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