NEW YORK — Derek Jeter played his final game in the Bronx against the Red Sox on Thursday night and fans chanted his name at various points of the game, hoping to see something memorable.
Jeter came through with a two-run double to center field in the third inning, the ball bouncing off the blue wall in front of Monument Park and drawing loud cheers.
But Jeter was a spectator for the real heroics of the night. Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley hit solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Koji Uehara as the Yankees stunned the Sox, 5-4.
“Nothing to say. This is my fault,” Uehara told Japanese reporters before walking away with his head down.
David Ortiz broke out of a brief slump with two home runs. Brock Holt had another as the Red Sox took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning. Brandon Workman worked six solid innings before Tommy Layne and Junichi Tazawa held the Yankees in check for Uehara.
The Sox were three outs away from dealing the Yankees a series loss and further puncturing their fading postseason hopes.
Instead, Uehara blew a save for the third time in his last four appearances.
Uehara got two strikes on Teixeira but couldn’t keep his split-finger fastball down and Teixeira drove it out to right field, into the second deck. Uehara put his hands on his knees and shook his head.
With one out, Headley worked the count full and got the same pitch, a high splitter. He pounded it deep to right-center, well into the bleachers.
“It’s a great win, and we needed it. And we’re going to need a lot more,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose team is four games out in the wild-card race with 24 games to play.
Counting the postseason, Uehara has appeared in 147 games and thrown 149⅓ innings the last two seasons. No player was more important to the Red Sox last season when they won the World Series.
The heavy workload seems to have caught up with Uehara but the Red Sox keep sending the 39-year-old into games, with disastrous results.
Uehara has allowed 10 runs on 14 hits — four of them home runs — over his last 4⅔ innings and six games. Opponents are 14 of their last 28 against him since Aug. 16.
Uehara had eight days off before he pitched against the Yankees with a six-run lead on Tuesday and allowed a home run. Then came two more on Thursday.
“The lack of finish to his split is what allowed a couple of pitches to stay in the middle of the plate,” manager John Farrell said.
Farrell indicated the Red Sox were finally ready to shut Uehara down.
“It’ll be a situation where I talk with Koji first,” the manager said. “What our plan would be, whether that’s more extended rest, whether that’s the potential of shutting him down.
“We just walked off the field and I think out of respect for Koji, respect to what he’s done for us for two outstanding years, not in a position to announce that right now.”
Ortiz, another aging star, had empathy for Uehara.
“It’s the way the game goes. Sometimes they get you and sometimes you get them,” he said. “When things like that happen, you learn from them.”
For Ortiz, the ninth-inning meltdown spoiled a big night. He was 4 for 23 on the road trip without an extra-base hit before connecting twice against former Red Sox Chris Capuano in his first two at-bats and driving in three runs.
One barely cleared the short porch in right field. The second was a rocket.
“See the way they pitch to a hitter. I’m the kind of guy that I don’t get a cookie every time I go to hit,” Ortiz said. “I’ve got to battle through it and try not to miss any pitch I get. Otherwise things are going to cool off because they pitch me very carefully.”
Ortiz has 32 home runs and 98 RBIs on the year. His 463 career home runs are 34th all time, two behind Dave Winfield. Ortiz also moved into 49th place with 1,527 RBIs.
Ortiz has hit two home runs in a game 46 times but has never had three. He struck out and flied to center in his other at-bats.
“I hoped for [three],” he said. “It seems like that’s it for me. I was trying, I’m not going to lie to you.”
Holt went the short way to right field for a home run in the fifth inning that gave the Sox a 4-3 lead. It was his fourth of the season and first since July 13.
Workman allowed three runs on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.
The 26-year-old righthander lost his shot at the win in the ninth and has gone eight consecutive decisions with a loss.
Workman was recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on Wednesday and is expected to remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season.
Workman allowed three runs in the third inning, then retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced. Girardi used five relievers to fashion 4⅔ shutout innings. That paid off in the ninth.
Workman said watching Uehara get hit hard again was difficult.
“You don’t want to see that happen to anybody,” he said.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.