BOSTON (WGGB) — If there were any doubts that the Red Sox and Yankees share the best rivalry in baseball, they were put to bed early Monday morning in Boston.
The Red Sox outlasted the Yankees in eleven innings at Fenway, coming away with an 8-7 win, after more than five hours of baseball.
The length was no surprise, as the Sox and Yanks average the longest games of any two teams in baseball, but the hero for Boston was.
The Red Sox got a hit from all but one member of their lineup, but they rode the bat of catcher Mike Napoli to get runs across the plate. Napoli’s towering 385-foot, three-run home run gave the Sox their first lead in the third inning. The blast ignited the Fenway faithful and sparked a three-inning run that brought Boston to a 7-3 lead by the end of the fifth.
But, it was an even bigger blast that sent Sox fans home happy. His walk-off, 425-foot home run in the 11th inning off Adam Warren gave Boston the win and a seven-game lead over the Yankees in the standings.
New York couldn’t take advantage of three Boston errors, despite three hits each from Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, and Eduardo Nunez.
Four Yankees runs between the sixth and eighth innings brought the game to a 7-7 tie that held until Napoli’s blast in the 11th. The Yankees’ problem came on the mound, with C.C. Sabathia’s uncharacteristic trouble protecting the lead.
Sabathia (9-8) let up 7 runs over his 5 innings, tallying only 5 strikeouts. The Yankees ace has now lost 4 of his last 5 starts.
Ryan Dempster was not much better in the early innings for the Sox, letting up 5 runs over just more than 5 innings. It was the six Red Sox relievers that followed who carried the load Sunday.
All eyes were on Koji Uehara, who only let up a hit in his scoreless inning of work, after the announcement of season-ending surgery for one-time closer Andrew Bailey.
In the end, reliever Pedro Beato got the win in just his fifth appearance this year.
The Red Sox will stay at home as they prepare to host a four-game series with the second-place Tampa Bay Rays starting on Monday.