The Yankees came from behind and walked off with a win Thursday afternoon, beating the Boston Red Sox 3-2.
Mike Mussina started for the Yankees. He pitched very well, going seven strong innings, and giving up two earned runs on five hits. Mussina walked two and struck out six.
Jon Lester pitched for Boston and also turned in a good game. He lasted 6.2 innings, gave up one earned run on five hits, walked no one, and fanned eight.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth. Jason Varitek singled to score Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a force out to score Alex Cora, and Boston took a 2-0 lead.
When the game looked all but over, the Yankees came through and tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Cody Ransom hit a two out double, and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi crushed a game-tying, two-run homer off reliever Hideki Okajima. For Giambi, it was his 27th long ball of the season, his second homer in as many at bats, and only his third career pinch-hit home run.
Giambi would strike again in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for the Yankees. With the bases loaded, Giambi hit a game-winning, walk-off single off Jonathan Papelbon to score pinch-runner Brett Gardner, and the Yankees won 3-2.
Mariano Rivera, who pitched in the eighth and ninth innings, picked up the win, and his record now stands at an even 5-5.
Okajima blew his eighth save this year, Justin Masterson took the loss, and his record is now 4-4.
Today marked the eighth time this season the Yankees walked off with a win at Yankee Stadium, and today was also the last time the Red Sox will play the Yankees in the current Yankee Stadium, at least in the regular season.
"We're not out of it yet, we still have some games to play, and crazy things can happen," said Giambi after the win.
The Yankees trail the Red Sox in the Wild Card standings by six games with 29 games left to play in the 2008 regular season, and will meet the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the final three games of the year.
"We pulled one out, at least we were able to come back and win the game," said Mussina about the win. "We don't look at it in terms of how many games we need to win, we just need to win every day."
"I was looking for him to pop one out of the ballpark," said Joe Girardi about Giambi. "We need our players to come up big for us, and we were in the game and felt we were going to win even before Giambi's homer."
"At this point we're trying to get wins, and today was a big one," said Derek Jeter. "Lester was doing a tremendous job, and you couldn't ask any more from Jason." Jeter went a solid 3-4 at the plate today.
As positive as the Yankees felt today, Alex Rodriguez had another tough game, going 0-4 with three strikeouts, and the boo birds came back out for him after he went 2-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored in last night's game.
Rodriguez will look to turn it back around tomorrow night at 7:05 ET from Yankee Stadium, as the Toronto Blue Jays come to town to open up a three game weekend series vs. the Yankees.
Carl Pavano (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will have his work cut out for him, as he will face A.J. Burnett (16-9, 4.58 ERA).
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