Jonathan Van Every’s walk-off single scored Alex Cora from third base to give the Boston Red Sox a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the New York Yankees to close out the regular season in front of 37,440 at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox finish up with a 95-67 record, which was good for second behind the Tampa Bay Rays (97-65) while the Yankees finish 89-73 to end up 3rd in the AL East.
Cora led off the bottom of the 10th with a triple off of Jose Veras just past the dive of Melky Cabrera in right center. Veras struck out Chris Carter and then the Yankees decided to intentionally walk Jeff Bailey and Sean Casey. On a 2-1 count, Van Every stroked the game-winning single to send the Red Sox and the Fenway faithful into a frenzy.
Tim Wakefield may have made his final regular season start for the Red Sox and looked good keeping the Red Sox in the game by throwing 5 scoreless innings. He allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 on just 56 pitches. Justin Masterson worked 2 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits with a strikeout while Mike Timlin worked an inning giving up a hit, a walk and he had 1 strikeout. David Aardsma allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 1 in his inning of work. Devern Hansack threw a perfect 10th inning with a strikeout to pickup the win.
Cora went 2-for-4 in the nightcap while Casey was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI. Coco Crisp, Jeff Bailey, Jed Lowrie and Van Every had the other hits for the Red Sox with Carter driving in the other run.
Coco got things started for the Red Sox on the 1st as he led off with a double off of Yankees starter Sidney Ponson. Cora moved him over with a groundout and Carter drove him in from third on a groundout to first to put the Red Sox up 1-0.
The score stayed that way until the 6th inning when the Yankees touched up Masterson for a run.
Robinson Cano started it with a single and went to third on a Jason Giambi single. Xavier Nady brought in Cano from third on a fielder’s choice that saw Giambi out at second. Masterson got out of the inning as he got Ivan Rodriguez to ground into a 1-4-3 double play.
Darrell Rasner came out to pitch for the Yankees in the 8th inning and he walked the first three batters he saw inthe brother’s C, Crisp, Cora and Carter. Rasner struck out Bailey for the first out but a Casey single scored Crisp and Cora to put the Red Sox up 3-1.
Aardsma took over for Timlin in the 9th and looked to close out the Yankees but had a rough going of things.
WIlson Betemit greeted with a single and pinch-hitter Johnny Damon worked a walk. A Melky Cabrera bunt single would load the bases for Juan Miranda, who hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-1. Aardsma rebounded to strike out Brett Gardner but Cano’s single scored Damon from second to tie the game at 3.
With the regular season over, the Red Sox will be getting ready for the postseason tomorrow at Fenway Park when they hold an optional workout before the rally that gets underway at 4 PM on NESN.
Notes and musings:
Yankees @ Red Sox 9.28.08 Game 2 Boxscore
The Red Sox went over 3 million in attendance for the first time in history today.
Today marked the 5th time since 1945 that Boston has ended the regular season with 2 games on the same day.
The Red Sox enter the playoffs as the A.L. Wild Card Team for the 6th time in history. It is the most Wild Card appearances since the current playoff format began in 1995, 3 more than the Yankees. Boston and New York (5 straight from 2003-07) are the only major league teams to qualify for post-season play 5 times in the last 6 years (2003-08). Sox have now made it to the playoffs 19 times, 3rd most in A.L. history behind the Yankees (45) and Athletics (23).