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Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017
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Major League Baseball

Boston Earns Homefield Advantage

BOSTON - J.D. Drew connected for a go-ahead, three-run homer one day after missing the celebration of Boston's first division title in 12 years. An Indians' loss also gave Boston home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Continuing his surge after a long slump, Drew lined a full-count pitch from Nick Blackburn into the right-center field stands to lift the Red Sox over the Twins 6-4. Boston beat the Twins 5-2 on Friday night then waited nearly an hour and a half before clinching the AL East title when the Yankees lost to the Orioles 10-9. Drew had left Fenway Park while most of his teammates stayed to watch that game on television and a few thousand fans viewed it on the center-field scoreboard. When it ended, Boston players poured onto the field, danced around and sprayed champagne.
Drew was fully involved from the start Saturday. He singled in the second, tripled and scored in the fourth and finished 3-for-4 with his 11th homer. He is batting .393 in his last 18 games, raising his average from .252 to .270 in the first year of a five-year, $70 million contract. Boston slugger David Ortiz was given the night off to rest his sore right knee. He had reached base in 11 straight plate appearances before grounding out Friday night. He homered in his next at-bat for the final run. In his last 21 games, he's hitting .436 with nine homers. Tim Wakefield allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings for the Red Sox after going 0-2 with a 10.70 ERA in his previous four starts. Carlos Silva pitched six solid innings for Minnesota and left with a 4-2 lead, but Boston scored four runs in the seventh off Blackburn.
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