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Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game

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With a tremendous 11-6 win over the Red Sox on Friday, the Yankees clinched home field advantage for next week’s AL Wild Card game against the Athletics. They’re now just one win away from becoming the second AL East team to hit 100 wins in 2018; if they sweep (or split the remainder of the weekend’s games), it’ll mark the 20th season in franchise history during which they’ve registered at least 100 wins.

Left-hander J.A. Happ led the charge during Friday’s series opener, setting down six frames of four-run, seven-strikeout ball to earn his 17th win of the year. After receiving only a handful of runs during his last two starts with the team, he was backed by an 11-run cushion, starting with Gary Sanchez‘s solo blast off of Brian Johnson in the third inning.

Giancarlo Stanton wrapped the third inning with a dramatic RBI single, but the Yankees did most of their damage in the fourth after Gleyber Torres drove in two runs on a replay-challenged double, followed by Andrew McCutchen‘s RBI single and Aaron Hicksthree-run 398-footer off of William Cuevas. Following another two homers from Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, the latter of whom had yet to produce a single home run since mid-July, the Yankees brought their home run total to 264 on the season — not only a franchise best, but enough to tie the 1997 Mariners for the most in MLB history, too.

With two games left to play before the regular season wraps up on Sunday, the club still has some time to leave their mark in the history books. They’ll continue their push for home run no. 265 and win no. 100 on Saturday as right-hander Lance Lynn faces off against Boston righty Nathan Eovaldi.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.