Evan Longoria leaves the Yankees-Rays game for “precautionary reasons”

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UPDATE: This is strange. Marc Topkin reports that Longoria left the game “for precautionary reasons,” given that the Rays were playing a day game after a travel day. Which, OK, but the game was tied 3-3 and the Rays are fighting for their playoff lives. Are the Nationals making decisions about his playing time now too?

3: 48 PM: No word yet on why he’s out, and there was no apparent injury while he was in the game, but Evan Longoria left the Yankees-Rays game after the seventh inning today.

As Marc Topkin notes, Longoria said today that he was feeling fine and had no plans to miss any more games for the rest of the season, so this is something of a mystery at the moment.

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.