Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt, right, celebrates with Tzu-Wei Lin (30) and Eduardo Nunez, center, after his pinch-hit, three-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Ryan Tepera during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Red Sox become 1st team in majors to clinch playoff spot

September 11, 2018 - 7:23 pm

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have become the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season.

Boston beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Tuesday night at Fenway Park, boosted by pinch-hitter Brock Holt's go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.

Guided by rookie manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox have the best record in baseball at 99-46. They assured themselves at least a spot in the AL wild-card game while reaching the postseason for the third straight year.

The AL East-leading Red Sox began the night with an eight-game lead over the New York Yankees.

Boston starter Chris Sale came off the disabled list and pitched one scoreless inning, striking out two. Sale has been slowed by inflammation in his left shoulder, and the Red Sox had said they would ease their ace back into action.