Red Sox players celebrate after defeating the Yankees and clinching the AL East. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Red Sox are East champs for the third straight year and, with 104 wins entering tonight's game against the Central-leading Indians at 7, they're a victory shy of matching the franchise record set in 1912. Nine games left. It'll get done.
But, big picture, Boston's onto October. And, after first-round losses each of the last two years, first-year Sox skipper Alex Cora has higher expectations than a division crown.
"There's a lot of guys there that, this is their third-straight division title, and they know that there's bigger things," he said. "We set that up in spring training. Obviously it's a great accomplishment, but where we play, just winning the division is not enough. They want a World Series ring, and we got a shot now."
Baseball-Leading Red Sox Dominate Challenging East Division
12-4 Chris Sale will take his 1.92 ERA to the mound opposite 12-6 Trevor Bauer. He has a 2.22 mark.
Sale's still working his way back from shoulder inflammation, so he'll be limited to about 65 pitches. The southpaw's only allowed one run his last 48 innings.
Bauer's been sidelined almost six weeks with a broken right leg. He'll pitch just a couple innings, but has a 1.72 ERA his last eight starts.
Eduardo Nunez will miss the game with a knee injury. Matt Barnes is eligible to pitch.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports