Clinching a division couldn't be less dramatic than this.
Ever since June, the Yankees knew they would win the AL East. And the inevitable happened Wednesday night, when Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill both hit a pair of solo homers in a 7-5 victory at Boston. That clinched the Yankees' second division title in three seasons."Everybody realizes you can't get overly excited with this," said manager Joe Torre, champagne drops glistening on his dark blue Yankees jacket. "But we can take a day to enjoy it."
The Yankees, who have led by 10 games or more since June 24, improved to 102-41 and moved 201/2 games ahead of second-place Boston. The Red Sox lost for the sixth time in seven games, but are 41/2 games ahead of Toronto and Texas in the AL wild-card race.
At Fenway Park, Ramiro Mendoza (9-2) was the winner and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 35th save. Tim Wakefield (15-8) allowed five runs and five hits in four innings.
INDIANS 6, BLUE JAYS 3: Travis Fryman hit a three-run homer off Carlos Almanzar (1-2) in the 13th at SkyDome, stopping Toronto's 11-game winning streak.
Alex Gonzalez of the Blue Jays struck out six times, tying the major league record for strikeouts in an extra-inning game.
ANGELS 10, TWINS 8: Jim Edmonds singled and doubled to drive in three runs during a nine-run third inning that put Anaheim ahead 10-2.
Garret Anderson singled twice and drove in two runs in the inning and Tim Salmon hit a two-run homer as the Angels remained two games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West.
RANGERS 8, ROYALS 0: Aaron Sele (18-10) won his fifth straight start and Lee Stevens hit a three-run homer as Texas won its third straight. The Rangers, 8-3 against Kansas City this year, had 14 hits, including a season-high seven doubles.
ORIOLES 6, ATHLETICS 2: Roberto Alomar hit a three-run homer and Brady Anderson hit a solo shot as visiting Baltimore won its second straight following a 3-7 stretch.
Juan Guzman (10-14) allowed both runs and six hits in five innings, and Jimmy Key, Alan Mills and Jesse Orosco followed and combined on one-hit relief.
MARINERS 5, DEVIL RAYS 2: Paul Abbott (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings to win his first start in five years, and Ryan Radmanovich hit his first major league home run.
Ken Griffey Jr. went 1-for-4 at the Kingdome and remained at 50 homers. Alex Rodriguez was 2-for-4 and stole his 41st base, but remained one homer shy of becoming the third 40-40 player in major league history.
TIGERS 8, WHITE SOX 6: Luis Gonzalez hit a two-run triple in a five-run second inning at Comiskey Park, stopping Chicago's four-game winning streak.
ASTROS 6, BREWERS 2: Jeff Bagwell homered for the second straight game and Craig Biggio went 4-for-5 with his 20th homer as Houston won its fifth in a row.
Bagwell, who went 3-for-3 with a grand slam and six RBIs against Cincinnati on Tuesday, had an RBI double in Houston's four-run first and led off the third inning with his 32nd homer of the season.
EXPOS 3, BRAVES 2: Chris Widger hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning as Montreal handed Atlanta its eighth loss in 10 games.
REDS 6, CARDINALS 3: One day after hitting his record 62nd homer in St. Louis, a tired Mark McGwire went 0-for-2 at Cincinnati.
McGwire, who got little sleep the previous night after breaking Roger Maris' record, grounded out and flew out before leaving the game.
Cincinnati's Bret Boone ended an 0-for-24 slump by hitting a solo homer and a three-run shot off emergency starter Bobby Witt (2-5).
METS 6, PHILLIES 2: Armando Reynoso took a shutout into the ninth inning as New York won at Philadelphia.
CUBS 4, PIRATES 2: Sammy Sosa failed to homer for the fourth straight game, but Mark Grace hit a three-run shot as Chicago beat Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field.
Sosa went went 0-for-3 and remained stuck with 58 homers, four behind McGwire.
ROCKIES 9, MARLINS 8: Kurt Abbott tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth and Darryl Hamilton singled home the winning run in the ninth as Colorado overcame an 8-3 deficit at Coors Field.
DODGERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2: At Los Angeles, Eric Young and Bobby Bonilla homered as the Dodgers won for the sixth time in eight games.
PADRES 8, GIANTS 3: Greg Vaughn hit his 48th homer and Steve Finley had a solo shot as San Diego tied a franchise record with its 92nd victory.
The host Padres snapped a three-game losing streak and reduced their magic number to four for winning their second NL West title in three seasons.