NEW YORK -- One after the other, the New York Yankees teed off, a second-inning barrage blasting them past the Boston Red Sox and moving them one step closer to finally getting their needed separation from the surprising Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees tied a franchise record with four home runs in the second inning Monday, and New York left-hander CC Sabathia made sure they never had to worry about a comeback in their 10-2 win at Yankee Stadium.
More important than the impressive offensive display was the fact that the Yankees' victory, coupled with the Orioles' loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, gives New York a chance to clinch the AL East title Tuesday.
After blowing a 10-game lead and finding the Orioles impossible to shake for most of the season's final month, the Yankees took a one-game lead with two to play. They can wrap up the division with a win and a Baltimore loss Tuesday.
New York's Robinson Cano homered, doubled and drove in three runs in the nine-run second. Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira -- who returned from a left calf injury that had kept him out since Sept. 8 -- also homered in the inning.
Sabathia (15-6) threw eight innings of two-run ball, allowing four hits and striking out seven. He's given up just four earned runs in 24 innings in his last three starts.
Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (11-8) lost his fifth consecutive decision, getting pounded in the Yankees' historic second inning.
The Yankees touched up Buchholz for eight of their nine runs and six of their eight hits in the inning, and they consistently tattooed the ball.
Cano began the onslaught with his 31st homer of the season, to center, and Granderson later added his 41st of the year, a two-run shot to right that made it 3-0. Martin made it back-to-back homers. His ball appeared to be grabbed over the right field wall by a Red Sox fan, though the homer was upheld after an instant-replay review.
Cano eventually roped a double into the right-center gap to bring in two more runs.
Buchholz's night was mercifully over, but Teixeira greeted Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves with a two-run shot that bounced off a fan's hands in the second deck in right for a 9-0 lead.
Boston had little chance to rally after the Yankees' early barrage, as Sabathia continued to shine during the stretch run.
Daniel Nava hit a fourth-inning homer for the Red Sox.
Yankees pinch hitter Melky Mesa drove in a run with an eighth-inning single on his first major league at-bat.
NOTES: Yankees rookie right-hander David Phelps (4-4, 3.34 ERA) will start Tuesday's game in place of struggling righty Ivan Nova (12-8, 5.02), who will move to the bullpen, manager Joe Girardi announced. Nova has allowed seven runs in seven innings in his last two starts. ... Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters jobs are not riding on the Yankees' stretch run. He added, "But that's not something I'm concerned about right now. We look at everything in the offseason, as we always do." ... Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup with an injury manager Bobby Valentine declined to disclose. When Pedroia was asked what was wrong with him, he responded "a lot of things" before walking away. Pedroia's left ring finger was taped, and multiple reports indicated he was scheduled for an X-ray to determine if he fractured the finger in Sunday's game. ... Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who played in the previous two games after missing six with an undisclosed injury, did not start because lefty Sabathia was on the mound, Valentine said.