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New York at Boston

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N.Y. Yankees (84-63) «0001010608122
Boston (89-59)0113020007132

Yankees shock BoSox, rally from 5-run deficit to close gap in East

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Perhaps the AL East title is not out of reach for the New York Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez capped a six-run eighth inning with a tiebreaking single off Jonathan Papelbon, and the Yankees overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Boston Red Sox 8-7 Friday night in a game that mirrored the season.

"You kind of feel like you stole one," said Rodriguez, who called it the Yankees' "biggest win of the year."

With the Yankees trailing 7-2, Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano started the comeback with home runs off Hideki Okajima. Derek Jeter hit an RBI single against Papelbon (1-3), and Bobby Abreu tied it with a two-run double.

"It's a character builder," said Rodriguez, who had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

By winning a 4-hour, 43-minute marathon -- two minutes shy of the record for a nine-inning game set by the Yankees and Red Sox on Aug. 18 last year -- New York closed within 4½ games of AL East-leading Boston. The Yankees remained 3½ games ahead of Detroit in the wild-card race.

Boston, which hadn't blown a five-run lead and lost since April 26, 2005, against Baltimore, has led the division for the last 150 days. By winning the opener of a three-game series, the Yankees cut the gap to its smallest size since after games of Aug. 19. They have won five straight against Boston and eight of their last 10 against the Red Sox.

"We're still up by 4½, not down by 4½," Coco Crisp said, "so it's hardly time to panic."

The Yankees were 21-29 and a season high 14½ games out of first place after games of May 29. Since then, they have baseball's best record, 63-34. And they still have a chance for a second straight three-game sweep of the Red Sox, who were rolled over in New York from Aug. 28-30.

"We went through a big mess early in the season and we were able to brush it off," said Johnny Damon, who went 4-for-6 against his former team. "This is a special team. Hopefully, we can keep the magic going."

Brian Bruney (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of Andy Pettitte for the win. New York had not overcome a five-run deficit on the road to win since May 9, 2004, at Seattle.

"We lucked out. That eighth inning was incredible," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "The only thing predictable in this ballpark is the unpredictable."

Okajima entered with a 1.76 ERA but allowed Giambi's 14th homer and Cano's 17th. Melky Cabrera walked, Damon doubled him to third, and Papelbon relieved.

Papelbon gave up an RBI single to Jeter on his first pitch, threw a called strike to Abreu, then gave up Abreu's double -- the first by a lefty against Papelbon in 35 at bats. The closer hadn't allowed a run in 16 2-3 innings

Rodriguez then ripped an 0-1 pitch to center field.

"It came apart in a hurry," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Pettitte, 9-2 with a 3.14 ERA since the All-Star break, was trying for his 200th win but allowed five runs -- four earned -- and nine hits in four innings -- throwing 101 pitches and making his quickest exit since July 1.

"I hate it that I wasn't able to get us through that game," he said.

Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up two runs, four hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings, one of his better outings of late. He is 1-4 with a 7.15 ERA in his last seven starts, giving up 40 hits and 23 walks in 39 innings.

"It's a fine line between being hit and not being hit," he said through a translator, "and I just tried my best to be on the right side of that line today."

Boston had struck first on Jacoby Ellsbury's second-inning RBI single and made it 2-0 when J.D. Drew's grounder went through first baseman Giambi's legs for a run-scoring error in the third.

Hideki Matsui's RBI triple cut it to 2-1 in the fourth, but Boston scored three runs in the bottom half on Dustin Pedroia's two-run single and Mike Lowell's RBI single.

Damon singled in a run in the sixth, but the Red Sox scored twice in the bottom half on RBI singles by Kevin Youkilis and Drew.

"It was definitely one of the more crazy games that I've seen here," Damon said.

Notes

  • Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to all 12 games he's played since being recalled Sept. 1 from Triple-A Pawtucket.
  • Boston RHP Matt Clement threw a simulated game before the regular game. He has been sidelined all season following shoulder surgery last Sept. 26.
  • Timlin tied Mike Jackson for 11th place on the career list with 1,005 appearances.
  • The Yankees have hit consecutive homers six times in an inning this season.
  • Jeter's run in the eighth gave him 1,367, moving him past Bernie Williams into sole possession of fifth place in team history.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Yankees can't contain their excitement after a thrilling, come-from-behind win at Fenway Park.  (AP)
The Yankees can't contain their excitement after a thrilling, come-from-behind win at Fenway Park. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Damon
AB 6
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH6141011 .265
Derek Jeter, SS6111025 .313
Bobby Abreu, RF4112110 .286
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4011021 .316
Jorge Posada, C4220103 .339
Hideki Matsui, LF4011115 .290
Jason Giambi, 1B3111223 .243
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B0000000 .225
Robinson Cano, 2B5111025 .298
Melky Cabrera, CF3100202 .286
Totals398128711  
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon 2 (23, Okajima, Gagne), Bobby Abreu (34, Papelbon), Jorge Posada 2 (40, Matsuzaka, Matsuzaka)
3B - Hideki Matsui (3, Matsuzaka)
HR - Jason Giambi (14, Okajima), Robinson Cano (17, Okajima)
RBI - Johnny Damon (58), Derek Jeter (63), Bobby Abreu 2 (96), Alex Rodriguez (141), Hideki Matsui (94), Jason Giambi (35), Robinson Cano (83)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (19)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Melky Cabrera 1
PB - Jorge Posada 2 (12)
E - Jason Giambi (1, Misplayed grounder), Derek Jeter (17, Throwing)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte 4954250 3.89
Jose Veras 1.2222110 6.00
Sean Henn0100100 7.49
Brian Bruney (W,3-1) 1.1000010 3.72
Luis Vizcaino (H,12) 1000010 4.09
Mariano Rivera (S,27) 1100020 2.91
IBB - Ortiz by Jose Veras
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 101-58, Jose Veras 39-20, Sean Henn 10-5, Brian Bruney 17-9, Luis Vizcaino 10-7, Mariano Rivera 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 5-3, Jose Veras 2-2, Brian Bruney 2-1, Luis Vizcaino 1-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 24, Jose Veras 8, Sean Henn 2, Brian Bruney 4, Luis Vizcaino 3, Mariano Rivera 4
Boston Red Sox
Julio Lugo, SS5110014 .241
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5112001 .326
David Ortiz, DH4120100 .322
Mike Lowell, 3B5121024 .326
    Coco Crisp, PR0000000 .272
    Royce Clayton, 3B0000000 .253
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4121103 .289
J.D. Drew, RF5021024 .264
Jason Varitek, C3000223 .256
Bobby Kielty, LF5110015 .247
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5121021 .375
Totals417136410  
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (45, Pettitte), Bobby Kielty (3, Pettitte)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia 2 (49), Mike Lowell (104), Kevin Youkilis (81), J.D. Drew (51), Jacoby Ellsbury (11)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Youkilis (31), J.D. Drew (19), Jacoby Ellsbury (9)
SB - Julio Lugo (30, 3rd base off Veras/Posada), Jacoby Ellsbury (5, 2nd base off Pettitte/Posada)
CS - Coco Crisp (6, 2nd base by Vizcaino/Posada)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Lugo-Pedroia-Youkilis
E - Julio Lugo (19, Missed catch of throw), Dustin Pedroia (6, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka 5.2422570 4.41
Mike Timlin (H,8) 0.1100010 3.22
Javier Lopez 0.2000110 3.05
Hideki Okajima 0.1344102 2.28
Jonathan Papelbon (BS,3; L,1-3) 1322020 1.82
Eric Gagne 1100000 3.77
HBP - Rodriguez (by Daisuke Matsuzaka)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 120-64, Mike Timlin 13-9, Javier Lopez 13-7, Hideki Okajima 19-9, Jonathan Papelbon 18-13, Eric Gagne 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 5-5, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 27, Mike Timlin 2, Javier Lopez 3, Hideki Okajima 5, Jonathan Papelbon 6, Eric Gagne 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36590
Game Time - 4:43
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Tim Welke