A night after blowing a save opportunity, Papelbon stopped the Yankees in the ninth inning Tuesday after Jeremy Hermida hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off Mariano Rivera in the top half, and Boston took advantage of two late errors to rally from an early five-run deficit for a 7-6 victory.
Boston Red Sox
Not dead yet, but ...
"I was hoping all night long I would get another chance," Papelbon said. "It's a heavyweight fight. They might get one good blow in but they're not going to knock me down."
New York played the game under protest after beleaguered Boston ace Josh Beckett left with back tightness following Robinson Cano's two-run double in the fifth that made it 5-0.
Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell went to the mound and, after a brief discussion, signaled to the bullpen. Boston manager Terry Francona and a trainer walked briskly to the mound when they saw Farrell's gesture.
Beckett missed his previous turn in the rotation due to back spasms. But he said this injury wasn't that serious.
The Yankees claimed there was no indication of an injury to Beckett by that point, but reliever Manny Delcarmen was given all the time he needed to warm up on a wet and chilly night.
"To me, he shouldn't get all his pitches there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "In my eyes, it was not done in the right way. Anytime a guy is in trouble, you signal to the bullpen and say, 'Oh, he's hurt.' That's a huge advantage."
An error by right fielder Marcus Thames, who hit the game-winning home run Monday night off Papelbon, helped the Red Sox take the lead in the ninth.
New York Yankees
Papelbon closed this one out after midnight, fanning Randy Winn with runners at second and third to end it. At 4 hours, 9 minutes, it was the longest nine-inning game in the majors this season, according to STATS LLC. And that didn't include the 59-minute rain delay at the start.
"It's a hard way to play this way, no question," Francona said of the back-to-back comebacks and crazy finishes common in this rivalry.
Thames dropped Marco Scutaro's wind-whipped fly with one out in the ninth, putting runners on first and second. One out later, Hermida, who entered for J.D. Drew as a defensive replacement in the eighth, hit a liner over Winn's head in left to put Boston ahead 7-5.
Rivera said the error didn't faze him.
"I got a chance to still do my job to get [Hermida] out and nothing would have happened," Rivera said. "That's part of the game. You still have to get the job done."
It was the second successive stumble for Rivera (0-1), who gave up a go-ahead grand slam to Minnesota's Jason Kubel on Sunday after converting 51 consecutive save chances at home.
Scutaro booted Alex Rodriguez's leadoff grounder to shortstop in the bottom of the ninth for his second error of the game, and Cano made it 7-6 with an RBI double.
But Papelbon recovered to get three tough outs and earn his 10th save, one night after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth when Rodriguez and Thames each hit a two-run homer to give New York a wild 11-9 victory.
Papelbon threw up and in on Thames before walking him to put runners on first and third with one out. The right-hander then made a quick stab of Juan Miranda's sharp grounder back to the mound and struck out Winn.
Daniel Bard (1-1) got one out for the victory.
The game was played in a constant drizzle on a slick field, but it was a much-needed victory for Boston, which at 20-20 is off to its worst start since 1997. The Red Sox improved to 3-5 against New York.
Scutaro, whose two errors led to three runs, also reached on a throwing error by Rodriguez at third to start a four-run rally against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth.
Yankee Stadium was a little more than half full for the start, and the surly crowd that withstood the dreary conditions booed Chamberlain lustily as he left the mound having blown a 5-1 lead for CC Sabathia.
"Mo gets the loss, but I feel it's my responsibility," Chamberlain said.
Boston's bullpen pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief after Beckett left with two outs in the fifth.
- Drew left in the eighth with a sore left calf and tight right hamstring.
- Yankees DH Nick Johnson had surgery on his right hand.