NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez hit a tying homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning and Marcus Thames connected moments later for a two-run shot of his own, giving the New York Yankees a wild 11-9 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
With one out and a runner on third, Rodriguez hit the first pitch into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center to tie it at 9. Papelbon (1-3) got Robinson Cano to fly out but hit Francisco Cervelli with a pitch before Thames drove his next delivery over the wall in left.
Thames was mobbed at home plate after New York’s first game-ending hit of the season. He also got the customary cream pie in the face from pitcher A.J. Burnett, part of the routine when New York had 15 game-ending hits last year.
Javier Vazquez (2-4) got a most unlikely win, striking out Kevin Youkilis with runners on the corners for the final out of the ninth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi only went to the struggling starter for a rare relief appearance because his depleted bullpen was missing David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.
The Red Sox hit five homers but still lost their eighth consecutive game at Yankee Stadium, their longest road skid against New York since dropping eight straight from 1960-61. Victor Martinez connected from both sides of the plate, and David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Youkilis also went deep.
It was Papelbon’s first blown save in the regular season since July 28, snapping a streak of 22 straight conversions. The only other time he allowed two homers in a game was to Minnesota’s Justin Morneau and Jacque Jones in his major league debut on July 31, 2005, according to STATS LLC.