NEW YORK -- It would have been a tidy wrap for the Yankees to secure their first postseason berth since 2012 on the same night they notched the 10,000th regular-season victory in franchise history, but those plans will have to be put on hold for another evening.
The Red Sox defeated New York, 5-1, at Yankee Stadium, to delay the milestone victory for another night. Since the Yankees needed an extensive sequence of events in order to clinch, including both a win and losses by the Twins, Rangers and Angels, that will have to wait at least one more night as well. Both the Twins and Angels won on Monday.
The Yankees can secure at least an American League Wild Card on Tuesday with a victory over the Red Sox if the Twins lose and either the Angels or Rangers lose Tuesday. With the Blue Jays beating the Orioles, 4-3, on Monday, Toronto has a magic number of two for clinching the AL East crown.
"I thought we swung the bats pretty good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We just didn't get hits with runners in scoring position. Their outfielders made some pretty good plays tonight behind their starting pitcher. I thought we hit the ball pretty hard tonight; we just didn't get the hits when runners were on."
Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw belted three hits, including a laser two-run homer in the sixth, to help power Boston's offense. Eduardo Rodriguez, making the final start of his rookie season, held the Yankees to seven hits and Alex Rodriguez's first-inning sacrifice fly over six solid frames.
Jackie Bradley Jr. contributed a pair of highlight-reel catches in left field and smashed a two-run homer in the seventh that gave Boston some insurance. Deven Marrero hit a solo shot to right in the ninth for his first career homer. Yankees starter Ivan Nova surrendered four runs in seven innings, taking his career-high 10th loss.
Boston moved into a tie with the Orioles for third place in the AL East, its highest position since the end of play on May 24.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED E-Rod finishes strong: Due to an innings limit, Monday marked the final start of the season for Rodriguez. Once again, he turned in a strong performance and looks like a pitcher who will be a big part of Boston's plans for next season. Rodriguez walked one and struck out five. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Rodriguez's first season was how strong he finished, giving up three earned runs or less in his last seven starts.
"It was tough to take him out, he was really starting to click," said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. "But it's been an impressive run since the end of May. To have 10 wins and have this type of year, he's a pretty special guy." More >
Nova crumbles late: Nova was working on a three-hit shutout with two outs in the sixth inning, but Xander Bogaerts doubled down the left-field line and Shaw cleared the wall in right, quickly erasing the Yankees' advantage. The long ball hurt Nova again in the seventh inning, as he surrendered a two-run homer to Bradley with Blake Swihart aboard. Nova worked seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
"You try to pitch deep in the game, but you also try to put some zeros up there," Nova said. "Giving up four runs is not what I wanted."
Bradley with another circus catch: Center, right or left -- it doesn't matter. If there is a play to be made, Bradley is going to make it. In the sixth inning, John Ryan Murphy belted a drive to deep left. Bradley raced back and made a lunging catch before the ball could get past him. A stunned Murphy was at second base thinking he had a double, only to realize that Bradley caught the ball. Bradley was making his first start in left since Sept. 1.
"It was pretty amazing to see the footwork, see the reaction, see the route to the ball," said Lovullo. "I know on one of them he fooled Murphy. He thought he had a double. Jackie is amazing. Nothing he does surprises me." More >
E-Rod beats A-Rod: The Yanks probably didn't suspect it would be one of their best chances of the night, but they had the bases loaded and two outs for A-Rod -- the all-time leader in grand slams -- back in the second inning. Rodriguez took a mighty cut at a 96-mph fastball, foul-tipping it into Swihart's glove as he dropped to a knee.
"You know, eventually you're going to break out -- and you're going to break out in a big way," Girardi said. "We need to do that." More >
"I was standing on second base taking my shin guard off, asking the umpire for time. So I thought it was a double. I asked him for time, and he said, 'You're out.'" -- Murphy, on being fooled on Bradley's catch in the sixth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox have given up just one run over their last 38 innings.
The Yankees successfully challenged a call via replay review in the first inning, changing a stolen base into a caught stealing on Bogaerts. The Yanks have won 21 of 28 challenges this season.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello, who has been on a good roll over the last month, takes the ball in the second of this four-game series. Since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 26, Porcello has gone at least six innings in all six of his starts, and has allowed three earned runs or less in five of them.
Yankees: Right-hander Michael Pineda (12-8, 3.99 ERA) gets the ball for the second of the four-game set in the Bronx, coming off two wins and a no-decision in his last three starts. In his career against the Red Sox, Pineda is 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in six starts.