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Yankees clinch AL East for 20th time in franchise history

Mark Blinch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New York Yankees officially clinched the AL East, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.

The 95-59 Yankees will now hold home-field advantage in the ALDS after earning a first-round bye in the postseason. Yankee Stadium will host Games 1, 2, and, if necessary, 5.

The win marks the Yankees' first time finishing atop the AL East standings since 2019 and second since 2012.

Jameson Taillon worked into the eighth inning, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out six over 7 1/3 frames, giving the bullpen some rest after an extra-innings loss on Monday. Lou Trivino completed the eighth, getting George Springer to ground into a double play to strand two runners before converting the save in the ninth.

While the team celebrated its collective achievement, Aaron Judge went homer-less in his seventh straight game. The prolific slugger still sits one back from tying Roger Maris for the AL and franchise record of 61 homers in a single season.

"I'll take four walks for a win every day," said Judge, according to The Associated Press. "This is a big moment."

The Yankees have eight games remaining in the season, one more against the Blue Jays in Toronto before a three-game set at Yankee Stadium versus the Baltimore Orioles and a season-ending four-game set against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.

Since the division's creation in 1969, the Bronx Bombers have won 20 times in 53 seasons, equating to almost 38% of AL East titles. They were also ahead in the standings in 1994 before the players' strike cut the campaign short and canceled the postseason.

The Yankees are now the first AL team to win 20 division titles, joining the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers as the only MLB clubs to achieve the feat.

New York has already clinched a playoff spot for the sixth straight season, but the team was still tracking down a division title and will now look to solidify a first-round bye. If the season ended Tuesday, the Yankees - who own the second-best record in the AL - would currently face the winner of a three-game wild-card series between the AL Central champion Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners played entirely at Progressive Field.

While the Yankees are amid an impressive stretch of postseason appearances, now entering the playoffs for the 24th time in the last 28 campaigns, they are also mired in an unfamiliar championship drought. New York has not played in a World Series since 2009 - the team's longest stint without appearing in the Fall Classic since 1982-94.

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