Potent quotables: Romero responds to accusation

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“What did he say? That he was drunk
and got into a fight? I’m not going to comment on it. I’m trying to be
professional and I don’t really want to get into that. Don’t want to
make a story out of nothing.”

– J.C. Romero reacts to an accusation that he assaulted a fan after Thursday’s game.

“The fact I don’t think I can help
the team like I wanted to, every day on the field. It got to the point
it’s really painful. My contribution won’t be enough to help the team
win. Hopefully I can get it fixed and come back 100 percent. I talked
to my family, discussed it. I came to conclusion last night I was going
to do it, and came in early and told Skip.”

– Adrian Beltre explains his decision to have surgery
to remove bone spurs in his left shoulder. The surgery, which will
likely end his season, is scheduled for Tuesday. Beltre could have one
final appearance on Sunday.

“Terrible. But we got a win, who cares? The guys picked me up.”

– Homer Bailey talks about his wild performance
against the Indians on Saturday night. The former top prospect walked
seven while throwing just 54 of 106 pitches for strikes, but still got
his first win in nearly two years.

“It’s going to be hard for us to
score runs, no doubt about it, with where we are right now offensively.
We’ll need a break here or there or error or something like that to
amass any type of threat at this point.”

– A befuddled Jerry Manuel is left looking for answers after the Mets were one-hit by A.J. Burnett on Saturday night.

“There’s not much I can do. I just write the line-up … the rest is up to him. I ain’t giving him no bunt sign or nothing.”

– Inland Empire 66ers manager Carlos Subero reflects on the unique assignment
of including Manny Ramirez in his lineup. Ramirez homered in his first
at-bat on Saturday night. Currently serving a 50-game suspension, he is
scheduled to rejoin the Dodgers on July 3.

CC Sabathia wants to pitch beyond 2017

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.

Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”

The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”

Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.

Red Sox lose on Mark Teixeira’s walkoff grand slam, but still clinch AL East

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dustin Pedroia #15 and pinch runner Marco Hernandez #41 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after both scored in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.

A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.

For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.

This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.