Struggling Ottavino Botches Key Play, Yankees Fail To Clinch Division In Sabathia's Final Home Start


New York could still lock up the division title if Tampa Bay loses to the Los Angeles Dodgers later Wednesday night. The Yankees would have been assured a playoff spot if Cleveland had lost, but the Indians beat Detroit 3-2 in 10 innings.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton stung the ball in his return from injury and CC Sabathia got an emotional send-off in his final regular-season start in the Bronx, yet New York dropped to 99-54 after entering the night tied with Houston for the majors’ best record.

New York hasn’t won the AL East since 2012, the third-longest drought for the club since divisions were formed in 1969.

David Fletcher loaded the bases in the sixth on an infield single when Voit hesitated at first base on a slow roller, and Ottavino (6-5) blundered two batters later. Pujols hit a big one-hopper toward the mound, and Ottavino missed high and wide trying to toss the ball home. Michael Hermosillo scored to make it 3-2.

The reliever has been mostly praised for his first year in the Bronx, but a string of poor outings and continued control problems threatens to be derail the Yankee bullpen in October.

Ottavino has now allowed a run in four straight appearances and has issued a career-high 39 walks this season.

Aaron Judge hit a tying, two-run homer for New York in the third, his 24th during an injury-shortened season.

Stanton played just his 10th game this year and first since straining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee June 25. The 29-year-old slugger lined a double into the left-center gap leading off the second inning, socked a 114.3 mph groundout in the fourth and struck out in the sixth before being replaced in the seventh to manage his workload.


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