New York led the division by 10 games on July 18 but the pesky Orioles caught up on Sept. 4 and were tied with the Yankees after 10 different days in September. Many players credited Girardi with keeping the clubhouse calm.
‘‘He’s very even-keeled,’’ Granderson said. ‘‘You never see him get too excited or down.’’
New York rode the long ball all season and the four homers in the finale set a franchise record at 245.
Hiroki Kuroda (16-11) shut down Boston with an encouraging performance after struggling through much of September. He allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings. Cano hit his 33rd homer in the fifth, followed by Alex Rodriguez’s double, A-Rod’s first extra-base hit since Sept. 14.
As the Yankees celebrated on the field, the Red Sox streamed into the clubhouse and quickly packed up. Dustin Pedroia did not speak to reporters. Jacoby Ellsbury wasn’t around when the media was allowed access. Ortiz hugged several teammates and Cherington went stall to stall to shake hands with each player still in the room.
‘‘It was a long year and we battled. It wasn’t good for anybody,’’ catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. ‘‘It was one of those years that we’re just going to try to forget about and come back next year and play hard.’’
NOTES: The Yankees won the season series against Boston 13-5, their most wins since 2001. ... The Red Sox hired Eddie Bane as a special assistant, player personnel. Bane spent the last two seasons as a scout for the Detroit Tigers. He was director of scouting for the Angels from 2004-10.