BOSTON—The music blared in the clubhouse behind the door to manager Aaron Boone's office—“New York, New York” was playing through the speakers, and a few voices could be heard joining in on the lyrics.
The New York Yankees had an extra reason to be happy after ending their longtime rivals' run atop the AL East.
New York officially stopped Boston's three-year reign as division champs, blanking the Red Sox 5-0 last night behind another big effort by James Paxton.
“Absolutely, it's awesome," Paxton said. "We feel really confident as a team right now and it feels great to knock those guys out.”
Hours after the defending World Series champion Red Sox parted ways with team president Dave Dombrowski, and right after former star David Ortiz returned to Fenway Park three months after being shot, they were shut out at home for the first time this season.
Boston dropped 18 1/2 games behind the division-leading Yankees with 18 games left.
The Red Sox are still in playoff contention, but barely. They remained eight games behind the second wild-card spot.
Paxton (13-6) won his eighth straight start, allowing four hits in 6 2/3 innings, as the Yankees increased their lead to nine games over second-place Tampa Bay. New York is tied with Houston for the best record in the majors.
Austin Romine and Gio Urshela each hit solo homers for the Yankees, who took the final three of a four-game series and finished the season 14-5 against their longtime rivals. New York increased its club record to 270 homers, a night after setting the mark.
Last year, the Red Sox clinched the East in Yankee Stadium, and also knocked them out of the playoffs there in the divisional round.
Paxton struck out seven and walked three in setting a career best in victories.
Eduardo Rodríguez (17-6) gave up one run in six innings, striking out nine with five hits and a walk while throwing a season-high 117 pitches.
He was 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA in his last four starts, and the Red Sox lost for just the second time (12-2) when he started at Fenway Park.
Romine sliced his homer down the right-field line past the Pesky Pole, making it 1-0 in the fifth.
In other AL action, Houston routed Oakland 15-0 and Cleveland dumped the L.A. Angels 6-2.
Over in the NL, Atlanta downed Philadelphia 7-2; the N.Y. Mets topped Arizona 3-1; Milwaukee beat Miami 8-3; Pittsburgh shaded San Francisco 6-4; and the Chicago Cubs cruised by San Diego 10-2.