Trailing 9-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Rodriguez tied the game with a two-run home run off Jonathan Papelbon. Three batters later, Marcus Thames’ two-out, two-run walk off homer lifted New York to an 11-9 win over Boston Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees won despite blowing an early 5-0 lead. The Red Sox lost their eighth consecutive game at Yankee Stadium.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the ninth with a double that eluded Darnell McDonald’s diving attempt in left field. It was Gardner’s fourth hit in four at bats against Papelbon.
After Gardner advanced to third on Mark Teixeira’s fly out, he scored on Rodriguez’s game-tying home run. Rodriguez hit the first pitch from Papelbon over the left center field wall.
With two outs, Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch. Thames then stepped to the plate and deposited the first pitch from Papelbon over the left field wall for the win. It was Thames' second career walk-off home run. The Yankees earned their first walk-off win of the season after 15 game-ending hits last year.
Javier Vasquez (2-4), who is scheduled to start Friday against the Mets, earned the win after facing only one batter. He struck out Kevin Youkilis to end the top of the ninth.
Papelbon (1-3) suffered the loss and his first blown save of the season. He allowed four runs on three hits, including two home runs. It was his first blown save in the regular season since July 28, 2009, ending a streak of 22 consecutive saves.
New York appeared to be headed for a route after a five-run first inning off Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. Rodriguez, who finished with four RBI, plated two runs with a single. Robinson Cano followed with a run-scoring single. After Cervelli’s run-scoring double, Thames completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly RBI to give New York a 5-0 lead.
Boston scratched across their first run in the top of the second off Yankees starter Phil Hughes. Adrian Beltre’s RBI single was the only run the Red Sox scored on a hit other than a home run. The Yankees answered in the bottom half of the inning on Teixeira’s RBI single.
The Red Sox scored the next four runs to close the deficit to one. In the top of the fourth, David Ortiz blasted his 29th career home run against New York. After a pair of two out hits in the top of the fifth, J.D. Drew hit his sixth home run to cut the Yankees lead to 6-5.
New York picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth on Thames’ run scoring double that knocked Matsuzaka out of the game. Thames finished with four RBI on the evening.
Tim Wakefield entered the game and pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. While Wakefield kept the Yankees off the scoreboard, the Red Sox grabbed their first lead of the game.
Boston once again closed the deficit to one on Victor Martinez’s solo home run in the top of the sixth. In the top of the eighth, Drew led off with single against Chan Ho Park. Youkilis then gave Boston the lead with a two-run home run.
Martinez immediately followed with his second home run of the game to put Boston in front 9-7. He hit his home runs from both sides of the plate as the Red Sox finished with five home runs.
After another exciting Red Sox-Yankees game, both teams will finish their brief two-game series on Tuesday. Josh Beckett (1-1, 7.46) will start for Boston, while CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.71) will counter for New York. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.