NEW YORK -AP- CC Sabathia shut down the Boston Red Sox for the fourth time this season and the New York Yankees got homers from Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird on the way to a 6-2 victory Thursday night in the opener of a pivotal four-game series.
 
Sabathia stifles Red Sox again as Yankees win opener 6-2
 
 
Bird drove in three runs and Sanchez had two RBI as the second-place Yankees shaved Boston's lead in the AL East to 4 1/2 games. This weekend set in the Bronx marks the final meeting of the season between the longtime rivals -- and perhaps New York's last chance to make a serious run at its first division title in five years.
New York maintained a tenuous hold on the league's top wild card.
 

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