Red Sox activate Vicente Padilla from disabled list

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Vicente Padilla is back from the disabled list following a minimum 15-day stay, rejoining the Red Sox’s bullpen after missing time with a biceps injury.

To make room for Padilla’s return the Red Sox sent Danny Valencia to Triple-A after initially calling him up to help sub for the injured Will Middlebrooks at third base. Instead of turning to Valencia–who was acquired from the Twins in a small trade two weeks ago–manager Bobby Valentine opted to go with Nick Punto as Middlebrooks’ primary fill-in.

Padilla threw 39 innings with a very strong 43/11 K/BB ratio and very underwhelming 4.62 ERA before getting hurt. He’ll slide back into a setup role.

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.