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Yankees clinch 6th consecutive playoff berth

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New York Yankees are headed back to the postseason for the sixth consecutive year after beating the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Thursday night via Josh Donaldson's extra-inning walk-off single, cashing in Marwin Gonzalez in the 10th.

It's also New York's 24th time heading to the postseason in the past 27 years, dating back to 1995.

Aaron Judge came mere feet away from ending the game in the ninth inning and tying Roger Maris' American League record of 61 homers.

"I just got underneath it a little bit," Judge said following the game, according to The Associated Press. "A pretty windy night, so I was hoping maybe it was blowing out at the time I was hitting, but just missed it."

Prior to delivering the game-winner, even Donaldson thought he wouldn't get the opportunity to walk it off.

"Tonight it's a little cool. Maybe it wasn't meant for tonight. Maybe it's another night," Donaldson said. "I thought that ball was gone."

Improving to 91-58, the Yankees currently possess the second-best record in the AL and are lined up to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. They're the second team to clinch a postseason spot in the Junior Circuit behind the Houston Astros.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves have secured a playoff spot on the National League side. The Mets and Braves are continuing to duke it out for NL East supremacy, while the runner-up is virtually guaranteed to finish as the top wild card.

The Yankees will now look to lock up the AL East. It would be their first division title since 2019 and only second since 2012. They currently hold a 7 1/2-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.

If the regular season ended following Thursday's action, New York would face the winner of a three-game series played entirely at Rogers Centre between the Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.

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