NEW YORK — What once was the best rivalry in baseball has cooled considerably in recent years. The Red Sox and Yankees are flawed teams who didn’t make the playoffs last season and aren’t the big bullies of the American League any more.
But the teams remain capable of compelling games.
Maybe that’s not the right word. But it was hard to turn away if only to see what would happen next as the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 6-5, in 19 innings on Friday night
At 6 hours, 49 minutes, it was the longest game in Red Sox history — and that didn’t include a 16-minute delay in the 12th inning when some of the lights at Yankee Stadium went out.
It was the longest game between the teams since the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 4-3, in 20 innings on Aug. 29, 1967.
“This was a test of endurance,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Two young players had enough energy to win the game for the Sox. Xander Bogaerts, 22, singled with one out in the 19th inning. After Ryan Hanigan walked and Esmil Rogers threw a wild pitch, 22-year-old Mookie Betts delivered a sacrifice fly to center field.
Bogaerts, who was 4 for 4 in extra innings, easily beat a weak throw by Jacoby Ellsbury.
“I’m glad I was able to do something,” said Betts, who was 1 for 8 and had struck out four times. “I’m just glad we won. That was the best thing that could have happened.”
Bogaerts also helped end the game in the bottom of the inning. With Ellsbury on first and one out, he made a smooth pickup of a ball hit by Garrett Jones to start a double play.
“It was a matter of resiliency by both sides,” Farrell said. “We were finally able to keep a one-run advantage.”
Steven Wright allowed game-tying runs in the 16th and 18th inning but held on to get the win for the 3-1 Sox.
David Ortiz delivered a home run in the top of the 16th inning that gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. The Sox had gone nine innings without scoring before his blast.
The home run was the first of the season for Ortiz, who was 1 for 6 before he connected against Rogers.
Switch hitter Mark Teixeira, batting righthanded against the righthanded Wright and his knuckleball, homered to left field in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
The Sox went up, 5-4, in the 18th inning on an RBI single by Pablo Sandoval. The Yankees tied it on a double by Carlos Beltran that Hanley Ramirez misplayed in left field.
The Sox took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. Edward Mujica, filling in as closer in place of Koji Uehara, got two outs before falling behind Chase Headley. Mujica left a 90-mph fastball up and over the plate, and Headley lined it into the second deck in right field.
It was a terrible pitch in any situation, but especially with the game on the line.
It was the first earned run allowed by a Red Sox reliever this season, the streak ending at 10 innings. Uehara could be activated off the disabled list as soon as Monday and his return will be welcomed.
Wade Miley pitched well in his first start for the Sox, allowing two runs on four hits over 5⅓ innings and striking out six.
Red Sox starters have allowed seven runs on 16 hits over 24⅓ innings with seven walks and 26 strikeouts. Joe Kelly is the last of the five aces out of the deck when he starts on Saturday.
Robbie Ross Jr., Alexi Ogando, and Junichi Tazawa held the Yankees down through the eighth inning before Mujica blew the save.
The Sox put runners in scoring position in the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 15th innings but did not score. They left 20 runners on base and were 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position.
“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.”
Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi, facing the Red Sox for the first time, allowed three runs on eight hits over 5⅓ innings.
Dustin Pedroia connected on a 101-mph fastball in the first inning for a single to right field. Singles by Ramirez and Sandoval made it 1-0.
|24||Sept. 1, 1906||vs. PHA||4-1, L|
|20||Sept. 3-4, 1981||vs. SEA||8-7, L|
|20||July 27, 1969||at SEP||5-3, W|
|20||Aug. 29, 1967||at NYY||4-3, L|
|20||July 4, 1905||vs. PHA||4-2, L|
|19||April 10-11, 2015||at NYY||6-5, W|
|19||Aug. 9, 2014||at LAA||5-4, L|
|19||July 9, 2006||at CWS||6-5, L|
|19||Aug. 1, 2000||at SEA||5-4, L|
|19||April 11, 1992||at CLE||7-5, W|
|19||July 13, 1951||at CWS||5-4, L|
|18||Aug. 25, 2001||at TEX||8-7, L|
|18||June 5, 2001||vs. DET||4-3, W|
|18||Aug. 25, 1968||at BAL||3-2, L|
|18||April 16, 1967||at NYY||7-6, L|
|18||Sept. 5, 1927||vs. NYY||12-11, W|
Sandoval, who is 10 of 14 in his career against Eovaldi, singled with one out in the sixth inning. After a wild pitch, Mike Napoli walked. A second wild pitch moved the runners up before Daniel Nava singled to right field. That drove in two runs.
Miley retired the first 10 Yankees he faced, five by strikeout. That streak ended when Brett Gardner doubled in the fourth inning. Through five innings, Miley was working on a two-hit shutout and had struck out six.
He lost his command in the sixth inning as the Yankees scored twice to get the crowd of 41,292 back in the game.
Gregorio Petit, the No. 9 hitter, came back from an 0-for-2 count to draw a leadoff walk. Ellsbury followed with a single to right field.
Gardner grounded into a force at second base. Alex Rodriguez, batting third, singled to center field to drive in Petit. Miley then walked Teixeira on five pitches and Farrell was quick to get him out of the game.
Ross allowed a sacrifice fly to right field by Brian McCann, but ended the inning by getting Headley to pop to second base.
After getting the first 10 batters he faced, Miley put six of the last 12 on base. But it was largely a successful Red Sox debut for him.
“I felt really good. Just let it speed up on me a little bit in the sixth inning. Other than that, the ball was coming out good,” Miley said. “Wish I could have gotten a little deeper in the game.”
The Red Sox used 21 of the 25 players on their roster. The only exceptions were infielder Brock Holt and three starting pitchers.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.