Yanks capture AL East crown in rout of Red Sox

9:42 PM, Oct 3, 2012   |    comments
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Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Yankees captured their 12th American League East title in 15 years, and did so in customary fashion.

Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each homered twice to back seven strong innings from Hiroki Kuroda as the Yankees bombarded the Boston Red Sox, 14-2, to claim the division crown in what may be the final game of the tenures of Boston manager Bobby Valentine and pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The win also gave New York (95-67) the best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the league playoffs. The Yankees will take on the winner of Friday's wild card matchup between Texas and Baltimore in the Division Series, which will start on Sunday.

Cano led a 15-hit barrage by going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and tying a career-high with six RBI. Granderson knocked in four runs for New York, which has belted an MLB-best 245 home runs to eclipse the franchise's previous season record of 244, set during its last world championship run in 2009.

Kuroda (16-11) did his part by limiting the sagging Red Sox to two runs and scattering seven hits to improve to 4-1 over his last six starts.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, conclude a dismal 2012 season with a 69-93 record -- their worst since a 100-loss campaign in 1965 -- and defeats in eight straight and 12 of their final 13 outings, leading to heavy speculation that Valentine will be fired after just one year on the job.

Matsuzaka (1-7) also isn't expected to be around in 2013, and the Japanese superstar ended the last start of a lucrative six-year contract by being rocked for five runs and six hits in just 2 1/3 innings to raise his season earned run average to an ugly 8.13.

Cody Ross went 2-for-3 with an RBI single for Boston, with Pedro Ciriaco also recording a pair of hits in a losing cause.

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