NEW YORK — It was such a long and wearying night that David Ortiz wasn’t sure what to make of the Red Sox beating the Yankees, 6-5, in 19 innings Friday night.
The Sox lost three leads during the course of the game, twice in extra innings. They also left 20 men on base, the team’s most since 1977. By the time it was finally over, there was more relief than celebration.
“We should have won that game a few times,” Ortiz said. “I guess we’re happy. We’re happier than they are, I know that.”
The game lasted six hours and 49 minutes, the longest in Red Sox history by time. That did not include a 16-minute delay in the bottom of the 12th inning when some lights went out at Yankee Stadium.
It also was the 11th game in Sox history to go 19 or more innings. The record was a 24-inning game in 1906. The Sox played a 19-inning game against the Angels in Anaheim last Aug. 9.
“It was a test of endurance,” manager John Farrell said.
The game ended at 2:13 a.m. when the Red Sox turned an elegant double play.
With Jacoby Ellsbury on first base and one out, Garrett Jones hit a low liner toward shortstop. Xander Bogaerts picked up the short hop and flipped the ball to Dustin Pedroia.
As Ellsbury slid in, Pedroia caught the ball, tagged the base, and made a strong throw to first. Mike Napoli stretched for the ball but stayed on the bag to end the game.
Pedroia embraced Bogaerts. They looked more like boxers at the end of 15 rounds. There were fewer than 2,000 fans remaining from the crowd of 41,292.
“Oh, man. I was so glad Pedey made that play,” said Bogaerts, who was 4 for 4 with a walk in extra innings.
The winning run scored on a sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts, who was 1 for 8 and had struck out three times in a row before driving in Bogaerts.
There were 627 pitches thrown by 17 pitchers. Both teams emptied out their bullpens but did not resort to position players on the mound.
“I left a bunch of tickets for people and they all left before I pitched,” said Anthony Varvaro, a Red Sox reliever from Staten Island who got in the game in the 10th inning. “They missed a great game.”
Steven Wright, who allowed two runs over five innings in the marathon to get the win, was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket. The Sox activated Joe Kelly off the disabled list to make the start.
The Sox could have used another reliever or two but were somewhat restricted in their options.
Any 40-man roster player optioned to the minors during spring training is ineligible to return until April 15 unless he is replacing a player on the disabled list. The Sox had no DL candidates.
The other alternative would have been to add a player to the 40-man roster. But that would have involved a corresponding move to open a spot and the Sox were not willing to do that.
“We’re in that first 10 days of the season, which adds another restriction to contend with,” Farrell said.
Kelly went seven innings in the 8-4 victory, saving the bullpen.
The Yankees did make a move. Lefthander Chasen Shreve, who went 3⅓ innings on Friday, was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They purchased the contract of lefty Matt Tracy from Scranton and made room on the 40-man roster by shifting righthander Ivan Nova to the 60-day disabled list. Nova is recovering from elbow surgery.
Tracy pitched two innings and allowed three unearned runs.
Late night with David
Ortiz hit his first home run of the season on Saturday morning when he connected against Esmil Rogers in the 16th inning.
It was the 467th home run of his career, one behind Chipper Jones for 32d place in history.
Ortiz has 19 go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later in his career, the most among active players. He has 11 home runs in extra innings with the Red Sox. Ted Williams has the record of 13.
The home run was the latest in a game for the Red Sox since Kevin Millar connected in the 16th inning at Tampa Bay on April 1, 2003. It also was the latest in a game Ortiz ever has hit one.
“What was I thinking? I just wanted to get a pitch I could hit,” Ortiz said. “I wanted to go back to the hotel.”
Friday night, or really Saturday morning, was the first time Ryan Hanigan caught a knuckleballer during a regular-season game. Wright is not as difficult to catch as others of his species, but it’s no picnic, either.
“I was concentrating as hard as I could,” Hanigan said. “A few times it felt like I was tackling the ball.”
On two occasions, in the 15th inning and the 18th inning, the Yankees had the potential winning run on third base. A wild pitch or passed ball would have lost the game for the Sox.
“Nerve-racking,” Hanigan said. “But it worked out.”
Koji on target
Koji Uehara pitched an inning for Single A Greenville. He allowed one run on three hits against Augusta and struck out one. Uehara threw 14 of 17 pitches for strikes. The closer is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and could return as soon as Monday . . . NESN reported that its ratings for the 19-inning game did not fade as it wore on. The game drew a 7.2 rating based on Nielsen overnight results. The postgame show, which started at about 2:15 a.m., drew a 2.5 rating . . . Napoli was 0 for 8 on Friday and is 0 for 17 on the season. He hit .400 in spring training . . . MLB sprung random drug tests on some Red Sox players when they arrived at the park on Saturday morning . . . The Sox have 30 wins at Yankee Stadium, the most by an opponent since the park opened in 2009.