Mike Napoli belted a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to an 8-7 win over the New York Yankees and a third series win against their division rivals this season.
Napoli’s second homer of the Major League Baseball game gave the Red Sox the victory just before 1 a.m. today at Fenway Park in Boston, where his teammates raced out of the dugout to celebrate as he crossed home plate.
Boston won two of three games in the series and has taken six of nine meetings between the clubs this season.
“I knew one swing could do it and I got a pitch I could drive,” Napoli, who finished with four runs batted in, said in a televised interview. “It was a great series win for us.”
The Red Sox improved to 60-40 and stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays atop the American League Eastern Division. The Rays won for the 13th time in 14 games yesterday by holding on for a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Red Sox and Rays open a four-game series in Boston today.
Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia allowed seven earned runs on his 33rd birthday as the Red Sox opened a 7-3 lead last night. The left-hander has now given up 15 earned runs in his past two starts. Sabathia surrendered a three-run homer to Napoli in the third inning that put Boston ahead 4-3 and also gave up a towering home run to Jonny Gomes in the fifth.
The Yankees scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game and force extra innings.
In the bottom of the 11th, Yankees reliever Adam Warren retired the first two batters before Napoli blasted a 423-foot (129-meter) home run into the second row of seats in center field on a full-count fastball. It was the ninth time this season the Red Sox won a game in their final at-bat.
Also yesterday, Matt Harvey had 10 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings in his first start since the All-Star Game as the New York Mets shut out the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0, while pitchers Adam Wainwright and Bartolo Colon each picked up their 13th wins of the season, tied for the most in the majors.
Wainwright allowed two runs over eight innings in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3-2 win against the San Diego Padres and Colon tossed a four-hit shutout as the Oakland Athletics blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0.
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