In their quest for motivation, the White Sox vowed not to let the Yankees celebrate their sixth consecutive division title on their home turf.
"It would be a shame to see these guys jump around on the field [while] we're sitting there with our heads down, thinking it could be us," Jose Valentin said.
As it turned out, the Sox had nothing to worry about.
The Yankees' magic number entering the game was 1, and Boston kept it there by beating Baltimore 7-5 Monday night.
As for the Yankees, they made no progress in their quest for a six-peat in the AL East.
Not after Magglio Ordonez ended the game with a walk-off home run. His 10th-inning blast off Jeff Weaver gave the Sox a 6-3 victory before a home crowd of 39,627 on half-price night.
The homer was Ordonez's 29th and the first game-ending blast of his career. It sailed 414 feet beyond the left-field bullpen.
"We showed a little fight tonight," manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's what you're looking for."
With Minnesota idle Monday, the Twins kept their magic number at 2 to win the AL Central. And the Sox remained in a second-place tie with Kansas City, which beat Detroit 12-6.
Finishing second in the division serves as another motivation for the Sox. And not just because of the extra spending money that comes with itSox players earned $7,000 each last season after taking the silver medal in the Central.
"It matters to me," Frank Thomas said. "If you don't win, you definitely want to finish second. We've had a great season."
The Yankees' Alfonso Soriano added to his great season by hitting a leadoff homer off Bartolo Colon. Soriano's blast was his 13th leadoff homer of the season, surpassing the major-league record Brady Anderson set with Baltimore in 1996.
Soriano didn't let up. He took Colon deep in the third inning on a first-pitch fastball. Soriano also scored the Yankees' final run after drawing a four-pitch walk from Colon in the fifth.
But the Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring two in the fifth on RBI singles by Tony Graffanino and Thomas.
Manuel also made his presence felt in the inning.
He got ejected for a major-league-high 10th time this season. That's one more than Atlanta's Bobby Cox and three more than Philadelphia's Larry Bowa, according to Stats, Inc.
Manuel, who had been ejected just seven times in his previous five years on the job, argued after first-base umpire Tony Randazzo called Roberto Alomar out after he tried to beat out a bunt by sliding headfirst.
Manuel got tossed after about five seconds of arguing and gesturing.
"He threw me out before I could argue, really," Manuel said. "I don't think I said anything to get ejected. I don't think I ever say anything to get ejected."
After Graffanino took second on Alomar's bunt, Thomas ripped a single to left to tie the game.
That's where it stood until the 10th, when Ordonez hit the Sox's fifth game-ending homer of the season.
Tom Gordon (7-6) earned the victory by pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth and firing a scoreless 10th.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times