Final, Red Sox 8-7: It looked like we were heading for another inning. Mike Napoli had other ideas.
Napoli drilled a walk-off home run into the center field bleachers, and the Red Sox win, 8-7, in 11 innings. The home run was Napoli’s second of the game, as he also launched a three-run homer back in the third inning.
Napoli actually had a chance to put the Red Sox out in front in the eighth inning, but he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Koji Uehara, Drake Britton and Pedro Beato managed to keep New York off the scoreboard after that point, though, and Napoli eventually came through in the 11th.
The walk-off win was a big one for the Red Sox. The Rays won their game Sunday, so the Red Sox were in jeopardy of watching their lead in the American League East shrink to half a game. Now, the Red Sox’ lead is at 1 1/2 games as they welcome the Rays to Boston for a four-game set.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 11th, 7-7: The Red Sox just had a call go in their favor.
Eduardo Nunez lined a two-out single into left field against Pedro Beato, who entered before the start of the inning. He then attempted to steal second base, but he was gunned down by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Saltalamacchia’s throw reached Dustin Pedroia on one hop, and Pedroia slapped down a very quick tag. Replays show that Nunez’s hand got in safely, though, so the Sox certainly got away with one.
Adam Warren will pitch the 11th inning for Boston. The Red Sox are scheduled to send up Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.
End 10th, 7-7: To the 11th inning, we go.
Shawn Kelley enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the 10th, and we’ll have at least one more frame before all is said and done.
Jose Iglesias, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino stepped in against Kelley, and all were overmatched. Kelley recorded three strikeouts to give him five through his two innings of work.
Pedro Beato will pitch the 11th inning for Boston. He’s scheduled to face Vernon Wells, Brent Lillibridge and Eduardo Nunez.
Mid 10th, 7-7: It wasn’t perfect. But Drake Britton got the job done in the 10th inning.
Brett Gardner walked to lead off the 10th, and he moved up into scoring position two batters later when Robinson Cano sliced a one-out single into left field.
Britton escaped the jam by getting Lyle Overbay to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
Neither team looks ready to win this thing right now. We’ll see if that changes in the bottom of the 10th.
Jose Iglesias, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino are scheduled to face Shawn Kelley.
End 9th, 7-7: A long game just got longer.
Shawn Kelley quickly disposed of the Red Sox in the ninth inning. Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew went down in order.
Gomes, who has two walk-off homers already this season, popped out behind the plate for the inning’s first out.
Kelley then struck out Saltalamacchia swinging and Drew looking to send this game into extra innings.
Drake Britton, who made his major league debut Saturday, will enter the game for Boston.
Mid 9th, 7-7: Brent Lillibridge singled to lead off the ninth inning, but the Yankees’ offense couldn’t covert the hit into any momentum.
Koji Uehara retired the next three hitters he faced, and we’ll head to the bottom of the ninth inning with the score still tied at seven apiece.
Uehara struck out Eduardo Nunez and Luis Cruz. Chris Stewart popped out to third base.
Shawn Kelley will be the new Yankees pitcher in the ninth inning. He is scheduled to face Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew.
End 8th, 7-7: The Red Sox just missed out on a golden — and I mean GOLDEN — opportunity.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but David Robertson induced a monstrous double play to keep this game tied.
Shane Victorino followed Jacoby Ellsbury’s groundout with a single into center field. Dustin Pedroia then hit a chopper to third base that Luis Cruz fielded but couldn’t get out of his glove. Cruz really needed to hurry with Pedroia hustling down the line, but he was charged with an error as Pedroia reached and Victorino took third.
David Ortiz ended up walking on the fifth pitch he saw after getting the green light in a 3-0 count. The walk packed the bags for Mike Napoli with one out.
Napoli, who crushed a big three-run homer earlier in this game, failed to come through. He grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, and we’re still tied after eight innings.
Koji Uehara will pitch the ninth inning, but it won’t be for a save because the Red Sox let a big-time scoring chance slip away.
Mid 8th, 7-7: Matt Thornton didn’t look all that sharp in his first two outings with the Red Sox. Things were different this time around.
Thornton tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth. He picked up two strikeouts and a groundout.
Thornton first struck out Robinson Cano swinging with a 95 mph fastball. He then struck out Lyle Overbay looking with a 96 mph heater.
Vernon Wells grounded to Stephen Drew at short to end the inning.
David Robertson will pitch the eighth inning for New York. He is scheduled to face the top of the Red Sox’ order — Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia.
End 7th, 7-7: Boone Logan was very impressive in the seventh inning.
Logan took over for Preston Claiborne after Claiborne walked Jonny Gomes to begin the inning. The lefty proceeded to strike out all three hitters he faced.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias all struck out swinging against Logan.
Matt Thornton will begin the eighth inning for Boston. He has struggled since coming over from the White Sox, so this outing could be telling.
Mid 7th, 7-7: Sevens are wild at Fenway.
Chris Stewart dropped down a bunt after Junichi Tazawa took over for Craig Breslow. Jose Iglesias charged in to field it, but his throw sailed wide of first base. That allowed Vernon Wells to score New York’s sixth run while Eduardo Nunez took third base and Stewart took second.
The Yankees tied the game at seven apiece when Luis Cruz grounded to short. Stephen Drew made the play while charging in, but Nunez scored while Stewart took third base.
Brett Gardner then put up an incredible 15-pitch at-bat. Gardner fouled off eight straight pitches before Tazawa missed high and outside with a 95 mph fastball.
Tazawa could have folded from there. Instead, he stayed focused and got out of the inning on a chopper back to the mound.
10:58 p.m., Red Sox 7-5: The Red Sox are turning to Junichi Tazawa with runners at first and second and one out.
Vernon Wells walked and Eduardo Nunez singled off Craig Breslow before John Farrell decided to make the pitching change.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-5: Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base and moved to third base on a groundout after CC Sabathia exited. But Preston Claiborne made sure he didn’t cross the plate.
Shane Victorino was the first Red Sox hitter to step in against Claiborne after Sabathia departed. He grounded out to first baseman Lyle Overbay.
Claiborne then struck out Dustin Pedroia for the second out before intentionally walking David Ortiz with first base open.
Ortiz took off for second base with Mike Napoli batting, and Chris Stewart didn’t throw down. That gave Ortiz his career-high fourth steal of the season, and it put runners at second and third for Napoli.
Napoli couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. He struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt.
Sabathia was charged with seven earned runs on nine hits in his five innings of work. He struck out five, walked two and surrendered two home runs while throwing 102 pitches (72 pitches).
10:33 p.m., Red Sox 7-5: CC Sabathia walked Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the bottom of the sixth, and that will do it for the big lefty.
Preston Claiborne is the new Yankees pitcher.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-5: The Yankees pushed across another run in the sixth inning. But Craig Breslow induced a big-time double play to minimize the damage.
Ichiro Suzuki, batting with runners on first and second, greeted Breslow with a single that loaded the bases.
Robinson Cano then drove in New York’s fifth run with a line-drive single into left field. Breslow had two strikes out Cano, but the All-Star second baseman demonstrated an excellent piece of hitting.
Breslow escaped the inning without any further damage by getting Lyle Overbay to ground to second base. Dustin Pedroia fielded it and flipped to Stephen Drew to start up the huge double play.
The fifth run was charged to Ryan Dempster, who exited with one out in the sixth. Dempster was charged with five runs (three earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. He struck out four, walked four and threw 98 pitches (57 strikes).
10:20 p.m., Red Sox 7-4: The Yankees just scored their fourth run, and they’re threatening for more.
Eduardo Nunez led off the sixth inning with a single, and he stole second base. Ryan Dempster then walked Chris Stewart before retiring Luis Cruz on a flyout to left field.
Brett Gardner made the score 7-4 by singling into right field, and John Farrell will now make a pitching change.
Craig Breslow enters with runners at first and second and one out.
End 5th, Red Sox 7-3: Jonny Gomes doesn’t get cheated when he swings.
Gomes made it three straight innings with at least a run for Boston by destroying a 3-2 changeup. Gomes crushed it over the Monster for his eighth home run of the season, and CC Sabathia’s night has evolved into a train wreck.
Gomes’ blast led off the inning. Sabathia retired the next three hitters he faced.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-3: Ryan Dempster has settled down nicely.
Vernon Wells walked with two outs in the fifth inning, but that was the only hiccup for Dempster.
Robinson Cano lined out for the first out, and Lyle Overbay flied out for the second out. Then, after Wells’ two-out walk, Dempster struck out Travis Hafner swinging.
Cano’s lineout was a rocket that Dustin Pedroia slid to reel in. These two are certainly the cream of the crop when it comes to second basemen, and Pedroia continues to show why the Red Sox reportedly want to sign him to a long-term contract extension.
Fun factoid regarding Pedroia: his next double — No. 271 of his career — will move him ahead of Joe Cronin and into 12th place all time in franchise history. (I wonder if Pedey will ever become a skipper.) Check out BostonFanFavorites.com for more on Cronin’s baseball accomplishments.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-3: The Red Sox’ offense has really come alive over the last two innings. Boston went from three down to three up, just like that.
The Red Sox put two on in the fourth inning without a ball leaving the infield. Stephen Drew got hit by a pitch, and Jose Iglesias pushed a bunt single past CC Sabathia to second base.
Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to load the bases. Sabathia jumped ahead of Ellsbury, 0-2, with a pair of sliders, but Ellsbury fouled off a third slider before yanking a fastball into right field.
Shane Victorino, who continues to play well when he’s healthy, knocked in two runs with a single through the left side.
Sabathia actually did a nice job of minimizing the damage, as Dustin Pedroia flied out to center, David Ortiz popped out into foul territory along the third base line and Mike Napoli struck out. But while things certainly could have been much worse for New York in the fourth inning, this game has changed drastically since the second.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-3: Ryan Dempster surrendered a two-out single, but he kept the Yankees scoreless for the second straight inning.
It didn’t take long for Dempster to pick up two outs. Chris Stewart flied out to right field, and Luis Cruz struck out.
Brett Gardner then singled into left field and stole second base, but Dempster exited the inning with a lead still intact by getting Ichiro Suzuki to fly out to center.
End 3rd, Red Sox 4-3: Mike Napoli picked a good time to flip the power switch.
Napoli, whose power has dipped a bit since his hot start, launched a three-run homer over everything in left field to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
The Red Sox trailed, 3-0, going into the inning, but they wasted no time in jumping on CC Sabathia in the third.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double down the right field line, and he advanced to second base when Shane Victorino dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
The sac bunt looks funny in hindsight, as Boston’s bats really heated up. Dustin Pedroia drove in Ellsbury with a single into left field, and David Ortiz sent Pedroia from first to third with a base hit into left-center.
It all set the stage for Napoli’s huge blast. Sabathia left a 2-1 fastball up in the zone, and Napoli crushed it over the Green Monster for his 12th home run of the season.
Mid 3rd, Yankees 3-0: Ryan Dempster enjoyed his first scoreless inning in the third. He retired the side in order.
Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner each grounded out, and Eduardo Nunez flied out to Shane Victorino in right field.
Let’s see if Boston’s offense can generate any momentum off the clean frame.
End 2nd, Yankees 3-0: The Red Sox started to create some two-out magic. CC Sabathia quickly put a stop to it, though.
Sabathia picked up two quick outs. He struck out Mike Napoli on a changeup down in the zone, and he retired Jonny Gomes on a popup into shallow center field.
Things started to turn around for Boston when Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled into center field and Stephen Drew walked, but Sabathia settled down to retire Jose Iglesias.
Iglesias hit a little chopper back to the mound that Sabathia handled rather easily.
Mid 2nd, Yankees 3-0: A walk, a hit batter and a hit gave New York its third run.
Chris Stewart led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Dempster was actually ahead in the count, 1-2, but he then missed with three straight pitches to hand Stewart a free pass.
Dempster bounced back to record two straight outs, although both were productive. Luis Cruz grounded out softly to Mike Napoli at first base, and Brett Gardner grounded out to Dustin Pedroia at second base. The two groundouts allowed Stewart to move all the way over to third.
Dempster plunked Ichiro Suzuki with a 3-2 pitch to keep the inning going, and Robinson Cano made the righty pay by singling into center field to score Stewart from third.
End 1st, Yankees 2-0: CC Sabathia plunked Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the bottom of the first. It didn’t matter.
Ellsbury, who is typically a menace when he reaches base, never advanced beyond first, as Sabathia retired the next three hitters in order.
Shane Victorino, who sat out Saturday’s game, struck out for the first out. Dustin Pedroia then flied out to right-center field for the second out, and David Ortiz grounded into the shift on the right side to end the inning.
Mid 1st, Yankees 2-0: The Red Sox haven’t played many sloppy games this season — never mind two in a row. They’re in jeopardy of that happening, though, as Boston got off to a very shaky start in the first inning.
Brett Gardner singled into center field to kick off the ballgame, and things really got sloppy when Ichiro Suzuki grounded back to the mound. Ryan Dempster fielded the comebacker and tossed to second base, but his throw traveled into center field, allowing Gardner to take third.
Ichiro then took off for second to try to put two runners into scoring position for Robinson Cano. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s throw also traveled into center, and Gardner scored from third with New York’s first run.
Cano ended up walking, and two batters later, Vernon Wells ripped a single into left field that plated Ichiro.
Dempster struck out Travis Hafner and retired Eduardo Nunez on a groundout to minimize the damage, but his miscue on what had the potential to be a double-play ball cost the Red Sox two unearned runs.
8:07 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch misses for a ball. We’re underway in the series finale at Fenway.
6:02 p.m.: There was some news to come out of Sunday’s pregame media availability.
First, Andrew Bailey will indeed have shoulder surgery, meaning his season is over. Bailey, who was placed on the disabled list Friday, previously stated that surgery was an option, and he has now officially decided to go down that route. Bailey will likely be out until the second half of the 2014 season, as the surgery will require a 12-month recovery period.
Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, will visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday. That’s a scary thought, as visits to Andrews often end with bad news. Manager John Farrell said that Buchholz’s visit is mostly about “verification and clarification to get some peace of mind,” though.
Farrell also announced that Brandon Workman will start Monday’s series opener against the Rays. Jon Lester will take the ball Tuesday.
5:30 p.m.: Take a look at Sunday’s lineups below.
Red Sox (59-40)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP (5-8, 4.24 ERA)
Brett Gardner, CF
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Vernon Wells, LF
Travis Hafner, DH
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Chris Stewart, C
Luis Cruz, 3B
CC Sabathia, LHP (9-8, 4.07 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Sometimes, you’re your own worst enemy.
The Red Sox found that out the hard way Saturday, as Boston killed itself with some costly baserunning miscues. The Red Sox ran into three outs on the bases, including two at the plate, and the Yankees emerged victorious.
New York’s victory set up a rubber match for Sunday. Ryan Dempster will go up against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who has lost his last two starts. Dempster, meanwhile, hasn’t factored in a decision since June 25. The 36-year-old lasted just 3 1/3 innings his last time out in Seattle while recording his third straight no-decision.
A big series against the red-hot Rays is looming for the Red Sox, but Boston can’t afford to look past Sunday’s series finale. Then again, it’s the Yankees in a Sunday night showdown, so it’s pretty much impossible to overlook that.
Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Be sure to follow the fun with NESN.com’s live blog.