BOSTON — Mike Napoli hit his second home run of the game, a solo shot with two outs in the 11th inning, giving the Boston Red Sox a wild 8-7 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday night and into Monday morning.
The win kept the first-place Red Sox a game and a half ahead of Tampa Bay, with the Rays, winners of 17 of their last 19, visiting for a four-game series starting Monday night.
The battered Yankees, 3-6 against their rivals this season, fell seven games out following the four-hour, 46-minute marathon.
Napoli, who hit a three-run homer off CC Sabathia but also struck out twice and hit into a double play, got a break on a close 2-2 pitch in the 11th. He fouled off the next delivery from Adam Warren (1-1) and then drilled his 13th homer of the season into the bleachers.
Pedro Beato (1-0) worked the 11th for the win.
The winning run scored after umpire Mike Everitt blew a call at second base, calling Eduardo Nunez (three hits for the second straight game) out stealing, ending the top of the 11th. Television replays clearly showed the call was wrong.
David Robertson pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth. He got Napoli, 7-for-12 with two homers and 20 RBIs with the bases loaded this season, to ground into a double play. Since 2011, hitters are 1-for-23 against the man they call “Houdini” with the bases loaded.
Jonny Gomes (No. 8) also homered for Boston, the first team to 60 wins this season.
Sabathia, pitching on his 33rd birthday, was shelled for seven runs on nine hits in five-plus innings.
Sabathia, whose ERA is 4.37 (the latest in a season he’s been over 4.00 since 2005), has allowed 15 runs on 17 hits in just nine innings over his last two starts.
Ryan Dempster, 0-5 lifetime against the Yankees, overcame a rocky start and pitched into the sixth inning. He left with the lead that was blown by the bullpen.
The Yankees failed to hit a home run in the series, the first time they played at least a three-game series at Fenway Park without a homer since 1995.
Brett Gardner had three hits and two walks and became the first Yankees center fielder to reach base five times in a Fenway Park game since Mickey Mantle in 1954.
NOTES: 3B Alex Rodriguez, slated to make his 2103 debut for the Yankees in Texas on Monday night, has a Grade 1 left quadriceps strain. He returned to Tampa, likely out at least another week. “I am extremely disappointed with the results of the MRI (taken in New York) and hoping to be back as soon as possible and continue with my goal of coming back and helping the Yankees win a championship,” he said in a statement. A report surfaced that had A-Rod heading to a hip specialist for a second opinion. … Red Sox RHP Andrew Bailey will have right labrum surgery in New York on Wednesday and is out for at least the rest of this season. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz will see famed surgeon James Andrews on Monday for, in the words of manager John Farrell “peace of mind.” Buchholz (right shoulder bursitis) played catch on flat ground again Sunday. He only experiences discomfort when he throws off a mound. … Red Sox LHP Jon Lester, given extra rest after the break, threw 35 pitches in the bullpen Sunday and will start Tuesday night, after rookie RHP Brandon Workman faces Tampa Bay Rays All-Star LHP Matt Moore in the opener of a series Monday night. … RHP Mariano Rivera, who got a standing ovation from the Boston crowd as he entered Saturday’s game, also got one at a local restaurant Saturday night, calling that one “overwhelming.” … Yankee RHP Ivan Nova faces Texas RHP Yu Darvish in Texas on Monday night.