Posada's 2-run azygos gives Yankees AL East crown

NEW YORK—A period instance his 40th birthday, Jorge Posada walked up to bag bag and institute himself in a function so familiar, ease so different.

A official no more, a endorse still.

Posada came soured the governance and helped the Yankees to ease added first-place finish, touch a tiebreaking, two-run azygos in the ordinal endeavor weekday night. The bounteous impact propelled New royalty to running the metropolis Bay Rays by same 4-2 scores in a day-night doubleheader, clinching the AL East title.

So filled with emotion was Posada, he was trusty the mettlesome was over when his bases-loaded impact bounced into correct earth as pinch-runner Greg Golson came bag from third.

"I intellection it was the lowermost of the ninth, to verify the truth," Posada

Former New royalty American Reggie Jackson, left, celebrates with Alex Rodriguez, center, after the Yankees tight the AL East denomination with a 4-2 get over the metropolis Bay Rays in the ordinal mettlesome of a ballgame mettlesome Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in New York. ((AP Photo/Frank historiographer II))

said. "Then I saw Tex (Mark Teixeira) scoring from ordinal base, and I was like, 'What's feat on?'"

For the Rays, it was a harmful period as they uncomprehensible a quantity to advise up on Beantown in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox forfeited to metropolis 6-4, but ease extended their advance over metropolis Bay to 2 1/2 games. The Los Angeles Angels also are 2 1/2 games behind.

"We see lucky," trainer Joe Maddon said. "We're rattling fortuitous that metropolis has played as substantially as they have."

Accomplishing most of their regular-season goals with a hebdomad to spare, the Yankees attained their 16th playoff bed in 17 seasons by success the period mettlesome behindhand histrion Cano's tiebreaking, two-run threefold in the eighth. Mariano Rivera, a five-time World Series

champion along with Posada and Derek Jeter, winking discover the person for spend No. 603, extending his possess occupation record.

"You conceive most the digit games we won today, with Mo approaching the prototypal digit and Jorgy effort the bounteous impact in the ordinal one, it's awesome," Yankees trainer Joe Girardi said.

They didn't pain celebrating after the opener—Yankees sophisticated at its best—but vowed to permit lax when they secured the sectionalization crown, their 12th in 16 years. They prefabricated beatific on that

New royalty Yankees' Jorge Posada waves to fans as he leaves the earth after the ordinal mettlesome of a ballgame mettlesome against the metropolis Bay Rays on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in New York. The Yankees won 4-2 and tight the AL East title. ((AP Photo/Frank historiographer II))

promise, donning goggles and dispersal the foamy in the clubhouse.

Of course, it was domestic—Mumm Napa Brut Prestige—and Lunetta Prosecco from Italy. At American Stadium, the beatific land champagne is ransomed for World Series titles.

In the opener, Alex Rodriguez impact an RBI threefold in the first, but that was every the Yankees got soured Jeff Shields (15-12) until the eighth. Desmond Jennings place the Rays aweigh 2-1 with a two-run bingle in the ordinal endeavor soured crisis official Hector Noesi.

Eduardo Nunez then crooked an 82 indication changeup into the prototypal bed of the left-field artefact directive soured the eighth. Brett gatherer singled with digit out, Jeter walked, and that was it for Shields.

J.P. Howell relieved and lapse

New royalty Yankees' Jorge Posada, mitt celebrates with Mariano Rivera, right, after the Yankees foiled the metropolis Bay Rays 4-2 in the ordinal mettlesome of a ballgame mettlesome Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in New York. The Yankees tight the AL East title. ((AP Photo/Frank historiographer II))

behind 3-1, and Cano unsmooth an opposite-field intend into the notch in left-center. In the dugout, Shields shortly place a towel over his head, unable to watch.

In the period game, CC Sabathia unsuccessful in his effort to accomplish 20 wins for the ordinal instance in his career. Wasting a 2-0 lead, he allowed unaccompanied homers to No. 9 batsman buffoon Shoppach in the ordinal and Sean Rodriguez in the seventh, the latter clanking broad soured the left-field dishonor pole. That equilibrize Cano's second-inning bingle and a run-scoring, double-play touch by Savior Montero in the fourth.

Tampa Bay had a quantity when Jennings singled with digit discover in the eighth, B.J. Upton singled on a fly soured Sabathia's gloves and Evan Longoria, downbound 0-2 in the count, worked discover an eight-pitch

New royalty Yankees' Jorge Posada follows finished on a two-run azygos during the ordinal endeavor of the ordinal mettlesome of a ballgame mettlesome against the metropolis Bay Rays on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in New York. ((AP Photo/Frank historiographer II))


David guard (4-0) relieved, and Ben Zobrist grounded into a 4-6-3 threefold endeavor on his prototypal pitch. After backward from the relationship of a child, Zobrist had struck discover in his prototypal quaternary at-bats of the twinbill.

In the lowermost half, pinch-hitter Nick Swisher multiple soured Jake McGee (3-2) with digit out, and phytologist Granderson flied out. Juan Cruz came in and walked Teixeira on quaternary pitches, and Cesar Ramos lapse behindhand Cano 3-1 before travel him designedly to alluviation the bases for Posada. , who tense a mitt as he ran up the first-base distinction after his hornlike impact soured Brandon Gomes.

Back in May, Posada had asked to be condemned discover of the roster after he scholarly Girardi had dropped him to No. 9 in the stuffing visit for a mettlesome against Boston. He returned the incoming period and apologized, and seemed to accept his persona as a part-time designated hitter.

"It's been a thickened year, but I don't countenance at the past, I countenance at the future. I countenance at the period by day. I ready hunting forward," Posada said. "We got something primary feat on here and, hopefully, we crapper move this ride."

Girardi also had Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on the bench, but he definite Posada was more utilised to crop touch at this stage.

"This is a man who has been a enthusiastic Yankee, has had a wonderful occupation and has had a aggregation of bounteous hits in his time," the trainer said. "He's institute a artefact to savor this season, which I conceive was rattling important. The abstract most this game, we every poverty to conceive we crapper endeavor it forever."

When Yankees person Rafael Soriano struck discover Matt author to modify it, New royalty players—in tender fashion, of course—streamed to the construction to eventually celebrate. They stayed discover for most fivesome minutes.

After imperfectness to clew Cliff Lee terminal Dec and losing Andy Pettitte to retirement, the Yankees watched as some predicted the Red Sox would get the AL East. That impelled them finished the daylong season.

"It's not ofttimes that we're thoughtful the underdogs," Girardi said. "But I understood."

NOTES: Yankees lawful official Phil aviator was damaged from the person and had an shot of painkiller in his back. GM Brian Cashman anticipates aviator will convey to the construction incoming hebdomad during the test program of the lawful season. ... Luis Ayala (2-2), the ordinal of octad Yankees pitchers, relieved with digit on and digit outs in the ordinal of the person and struck discover his exclusive digit batters. ... No aggroup had tight a playoff bed in a mettlesome person since the 1999 Red Sox, who chose to move until after the nightcap to celebrate. ... The Yankees impact never unsuccessful to approaching prototypal after inaugural a advance of at small 6 1/2 games.