AL East Champs! (We're Back)

The Yankees finally clinched the American League Eastern division with a 7-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night. Behind the lights-out pitching of Jose Contreras and a towering grand slam off the bat of Jason Giambi, the Yanks clinched the title for the sixth consecutive season.

Nick Johnson started the celebration early with a solo homerun off of Mark Buehrle in the first inning. The homerun was Johnson's 14th of the season.

Both team's bats were silent until the Yankees drove home another run in the sixth inning. With two outs and a pair of runners on base, Hideki Matsui laced a single to left field that drove in Giambi and gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead.

The two runs would be more than enough for Jose Contreras (7-2) who worked his filthy splitter for eight innings, the longest outing of his career. Contreras scattered four hits and a walk while fanning nine batters, also a career best.

The Yanks broke the game open in the ninth inning against Chicago's bullpen. Juan Rivera launched a solo homerun off of Scott Sullivan with one out, and Alfonso Soriano's base hit knocked Sullivan from the game.

Side-arming lefty Kelly Wunsch entered and allowed a double to Nick Johnson to put two runners into scoring position. Derek Jeter was intentionally walked to load the bases for Jason Giambi. Giambi teed off on Wunsch to put the Yanks up 7-0 with his 40th homerun of the year.

The homerun made Giambi only the fourth player in Yankees history to have multiple 40 homerun seasons. He hit 41 in 2002. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle are the only other players to do it.

Buerhle (14-14) took the loss for the White Sox, allowing a pair of runs on eight hits and a walk while fanning five batters.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth inning and worked around a leadoff single to nail down the win.

The series finale with the White Sox will be on Wednesday at 2:05 pm eastern time. Mike Mussina (17-7, 3.14) will face Esteban Loaiza (19-9, 2.92) of the White Sox. After that, the Yankees will head back home to wrap up the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles.

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