Cubs confirm that Matt Garza is done for the season

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Cubs skipper Dale Sveum told reporters early last week that “it’s going to be tough” for right-hander Matt Garza to return this season from a stress reaction in his pitching elbow. Sveum was right.

Carrie Muskat of MLB.com heard this evening that Garza is officially “done” for the rest of the season.

Not because he had a setback, but because he simply doesn’t have enough time to make a full, normal recovery. And the Cubs don’t want to risk making the elbow injury any worse than it already is.

Garza registered a 3.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP across 18 starts this season, striking out 96 batters and walking 32 in 103 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old will be salary eligible for arbitration for the final time heading into 2013 and the rebuilding Cubs seem likely to trade him in order to avoid paying what will be a hefty raise.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.