The Yankees learned during the seventh inning that they had clinched the American League East title when Tampa Bay finished off a 4-1 win over Baltimore.
New York went on to clinch the best record in the American League and will begin its quest for a 28th World Series title when it opens the division playoff round this weekend. The Yankees will meet either Baltimore or Texas, who will meet on Friday in a one-game wild card playoff.
Cano hit two-run homers in both the third and fifth innings and also had a two-run single in the sixth. Curtis Granderson hit two homers for the Yankees as well -- a three-run blast in the second and a solo shot during a five-run seventh inning.
New York closed the regular season with four straight victories and finished the campaign with 95 wins -- one more than Oakland and two more than Baltimore and Texas.
Hiroki Kuroda (16-11) picked up the easy win by seven innings, during which he gave up two runs on seven hits. Daisuke Matsuza (1-7) suffered the loss while allowing five runs on six hits in 2 1/3.
Boston finished a miserable season with the third worst record in the American League, putting Bobby Valentine's future as manager of the Red Sox in jeopardy.