BOSTON — The Red Sox were still shaking hands on the field when the “106” went up in the win column of the AL East standings that are posted on the Green Monster.
Scoreboards flashed “106 Wins.” Fans waved signs to celebrate breaking a record that has stood as long as Fenway Park itself.
“You think about all the history of the game and the history of this franchise,” Boston manager Alex Cora said after the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Monday night to earn their record 106th victory and clinch home-field advantage through the postseason.
“To be part of this, I can’t even explain it. We should call timeout and enjoy this one,” said Cora, who is in his first year as manager. “We know what we want to do in October, but this one ... for us to do it is amazing.”
Mookie Betts had a pair of hits to leave his major league-best batting average at .343, and Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in the major leagues this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far.
For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and (most likely) Oakland.
“I know how it gets here in the playoffs,” said Cora, who played on the team from 2006-08 and was a bench coach with the Astros when they beat Boston in the divisional round last year. “It’s a special place, and it’s a tough place for the visitors in the postseason.”
The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.